European Leagues boss critical of FIFA’s ghosting of professional game over calendar

October 27 – The head of the European Leagues, the umbrella body for leagues across the continent, has re-iterated criticism of football’s governing bodies – in particular FIFA – for failing to consult with his members over the expansion of the international calendar.

FIFA are introducing a new 32-team Club World Cup from June 2025 while the 2026 World Cup is being expanded to 48 teams.

Jacco Swart, managing director of the European Leagues, says the lack of dialogue with clubs and leagues in Europe over new or expanded tournaments is unacceptable.

“It’s a very strange, maybe crazy situation that representative bodies of competition organisers do not even consult professional league club football when FIFA decides to change the international match calendar,” Swart told a news conference following his organisation’s annual general assembly. “We are not too happy about this.”

“If you look at the economics, it’s still a fact that the majority of the revenues across the world comes from domestic competitions. A vast majority of the players compete in teams that do not play in international competitions.”

On a more positive front UEFA, said Swart, was increasing its solidarity payments for the 2024-27 cycle from five to seven percent for teams not taking part in its three club competitions, amounting to a sum of €308 million.

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