FIFA and the World Association of Football Clubs

Football news begins with a new acronym for another group of clubs pushing for their voices to count at the highest level. This time it is a set of eight clubs representing the confederations in discussions with FIFA on the overhaul of the Club World Cup. The World Association of Soccer Clubs had its introductory meeting with FIFA on Friday, in theory giving clubs a way to voice concerns and potentially influence what FIFA does with their revamped tournament.

For those who score at home, the Club World Cup is set to become a different competition in 2021. Held every four years in the summer, it replaces the Confederations Cup on the FIFA calendar. It also extends to 24 teams. This is an obvious concern for clubs most likely to be involved, particularly in Europe where it could potentially interfere with their lucrative preseason tours.

The current members are Real Madrid with club president Florintino Perez also president of WFCA and AC Milan of UEFA, River Plate and Boca Juniors of CONMEBOL, Guangzhou Evergrande of AFC, TP Mazembe of CAF, Aucklant City of Oceania and Club L’Amérique of Concacaf. Inside world football Paul Nicholson has expanding this membership high on the WFCA agenda.

“I am so happy that clubs from all over the world are in attendance and have agreed to form this association,” Perez said in a press release. This new association will be a credible and focused counterpart to FIFA and we will strive to improve all aspects related to clubs, starting with the FIFA Club World Cup in 2021. The tournament must be a competition that contributes to the development of club football around the world and which is what the clubs here hope to achieve alongside FIFA. We hope to maintain an excellent level of cooperation with FIFA to take club football to the next level. “

This is an interesting situation for world club football, with leagues already affiliated through the World League Forum. This organization only dates back to 2016 and includes Liga MX and MLS as well as major leagues around the world with all of Europe’s big five represented.

FIFA’s drive for change needs the support of clubs, players and, ultimately, fans to have any chance of success. We already know what scheduling a club tournament looks like. The latest example will be the kick off of the 2019 Club World Cup next month in Qatar. If anything, that only helps FIFA President Gianni Infantino push for change. With FIFA hosting the first meeting of the WFCA, the goal of world football’s governing body is membership.

“The world is changing rapidly and if football is to continue to grow as the main sport on the planet, we must come together in a constructive, innovative and inclusive spirit to speak openly about the challenges and problems, but also the great opportunities that we have in front of us, ”Infantino said in a press release. “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. It would mean that their national or regional competitions have developed to this level and that millions of fans are even more engaged in supporting their favorite teams. “

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Logo courtesy of FIFA

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