March 18 – FIFA president Gianni Infantino has proposed moving the first ever 24-team Club World Club from its 2021 date to avoid clashing with the rescheduled European Championships.
Infantino planned to stage the inaugural edition of his highly lucrative pet project in June and July next year in China but said in a statement he would hold a conference call with officials today during which he will suggest “to decide at a later stage – when there is more clarity on the situation” when to reschedule the new-look tournament, whether that be “later in 2021, in 2022 or in 2023.”
“The world is facing an unprecedented health challenge and clearly a global and collective response is needed. Cooperation, mutual respect and understanding must be the guiding principles for all decision makers to have in mind at this crucial moment in time,” Infantino said on FIFA’s website.
“Particularly in football, finding appropriate and fair solutions at global level is imperative. This requires unity, solidarity and a shared sense of responsibility and we need to think of all those around the world potentially impacted by our decisions.”
UEFA announced Tuesday it was postponing Euro 2020 for 12 months to allow current domestic schedules to be completed, a decision that will now cause a domino effect throughout the sport.
Next year’s Club World Cup, scheduled for June 17-July 4, would be by far the biggest so far, taking place across eight Chinese cities. Eight European clubs are scheduled to take part with six from South America.
Infantino said part of today’s conference call would include discussions with the Chinese FA and Chinese Government in order to minimise any negative impact of a postponement.
FIFA said it would also recommend to its the ruling council that a $10 million be made to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
Infantino said discussions would also involve the possibility of establishing a Global Football Assistance Fund to “help members of the football community affected by this crisis”.
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