By Andrew Warshaw
December 20 – German football boss and FIFA Council member Reinhard Grindel has renewed his attack on the FIFA leadership and Gianni Infantino in person saying Infantino is fuelling international prejudice against his own organisation over his controversial plans to reshape the landscape of world football,
Grindel has had an uncomfortable relationship with Infantino ever since the FIFA president went public with his £25 billion proposal to introduce a global Nations League and expand the Club World Cup.
Last month Grindel urged Infantino to come clean over whether FIFA’s World Cup rights would be sold off as part of the $25 billion deal that is reportedly linked with a Saudi-led consortium and will be voted on in mid-March.
Refusing to stay silent over the Infantino-orchestrated package, Grindel is continuing to speak his mind over the issue. “Through the non-transparent way in which he is dealing with these issues, he is reinforcing many prejudices about FIFA,” he charged.
FIFA insists it will have spoken to all the relevant stakeholders, via a recently established Task Force, before its ruling Council makes the all-important decision at its meeting in Miami whether to approve the deal.
Discussions are ongoing over possible formats, dates and slot allocations for the two new or revamped tournaments but Grindel isn’t convinced.
“I would welcome it if FIFA were to set up an open discussion process and involve those affected – the clubs, the leagues and the associations – much more in the discussions,” he said in an interview with Sportbuzzer.de
He admitted that he doesn’t have the warmest of personal relationships with the FIFA president. “It is marked by different perspectives on a number of issues,” Grindel said bluntly.
With the decision on Infantino’s proposals just three months away, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has also expressed grave doubts about it coming to fruition.
“We still have a lot of difficulties with these two proposals,” Ceferin said recently, adding that he was particularly concerned at the Club World Cup being “financed by a fund whose origins and names of supporters are unknown.”
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