December 10 – Gianni Infantino’s $25 billion ambition to reshape the entire landscape of world football has taken a decisive step after FIFA confirmed that a task force set up to examine plans for an expanded Club World Cup and a global version of the Nations League held its first meeting on Sunday to look at possible formats, dates and slot allocations.
Infantino’s plans for a 24-team Club World Cup and a Nations League verging on a mini World Cup – in partnership with an investment consortium taking a 49% in the business – have been severely criticised, including by his European counterpart Aleksander Ceferin.
But with a final decision set for mid-March at the FIFA Council meeting in Miami, FIFA are starting to put flesh on the bones of the contentious proposal.
FIFA said that the first meeting of the task force, which had Infantino himself at the helm when it was first announced a few weeks ago, was led by his deputy secretary general Zvonimir Boban and met in Paris (presumably on the sidelines of the women’s World Cup draw) entrusted with the “technical and sporting elements” of the controversial idea.
The task force consisted of members appointed by the six continental confederations, while a “parallel consultation” would take place with clubs, players and leagues, FIFA said.
Boban said the panel would provide the FIFA Council “with a complete breakdown of the sporting elements to be taken into consideration when making a decision on such an important matter for the future of football”.
“The work of this task force is another important step in the consultation process to understand the landscape in which competitions like these would be implemented and what impact they would have.”
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