November 18 – With debate over the format of the 2021 Club World Cup guaranteed to dominate headlines over the next two years, FIFA hosted the inauguration of a new club organisation in Zurich last week.
The World Football Clubs Association (WFCA), based in Switzerland, will be a new ‘stakeholder’ in the discussion around the Club World Cup.
Founded with eight clubs representing the six confederations (though not officially), the group so far doesn’t have any Brazilian, English, German or French representation and arguably misses two of Europe’s club giants in Barcelona and Juventus.
The founding clubs are AC Milan (Italy), Real Madrid (Spain), Boca Juniors and River Plate (Argentina), Club América (Mexico), Guangzhou Evergrande (China), TP Mazembe (DR Congo) and Auckland City (New Zealand).
Real Madrid’s FIFA-friendly president Florentino Perez will chair the new organisation and said in a statement: “This new association will propose a credible and serious counterpart to FIFA to discuss all aspects related to clubs, starting with the Club World Cup.”
The next step for the WFCA will be to invite new clubs to the organisation, though it is unclear what its relationship with the powerful European Club Association (ECA) will be, and whether it will have a different ‘policy’ approach to the ECA and its opposition to FIFA World Club Cup competition.
The organisation’s stated aim makes is sound suspiciously like a lobby group for FIFA. According to the official statement, is said it is to “make sure the FIFA Club World Cup will be an event where fans around the world can see the best teams playing the best football competing for the only worldwide club trophy”.
In a FIFA statement, president Gianni Infantino said: “I am certain that even more top clubs will join us as we develop this means for discussion, just as we have been doing with the FIFA federations, confederations, leagues and players, as well as all those at the heart of the world footballing community. The world is changing quickly and we in the footballing industry hope to keep developing as the world’s biggest sport, we need to come together in a constructive, pioneering and inclusive way in order to look at the challenges and issues we face, and realise the great opportunities that lie ahead of us.”
“My vision is that in the future 40 or 50 clubs from different parts of the world have the legitimate ambition of winning the FIFA Club World Cup. This means that national and regional competitions need to be at that same level and that millions of fans can therefore support their favourite teams with even more passion.”
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com