FIFA president Gianni Infantino has refused to back the £4.6billion ‘European Super League’ idea which resurfaced on Tuesday.
Sky News reported earlier this week that the breakaway league consisting of 18 elite clubs on the continent was backed by FIFA and Wall Street giant JP Morgan, with English clubs Liverpool and Manchester United key movers in the initiative.
However, Infantino has revealed he is not interested in the new idea, which could launch as early as 2022, and revealed his own plans to make football more global within its current structure.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino (above) refused to back the idea of a European Super League
English sides Manchester United and Liverpool are believed to be big movers in the plans
The FIFA president said: ‘As Fifa President, I’m interested in the Club World Cup, not the Super League. I’m not interested in Bayern versus Liverpool, but Bayern versus Boca Juniors from Buenos Aires.
‘Liverpool has 180 million fans worldwide. Flamengo about 40 million. Flamengo has 39 of these 40 million fans in Brazil. But Liverpool, however, has perhaps only 5 million fans in England, the other 175 million around the world.
‘I want clubs from outside Europe to have global appeal in the future. My vision is: there should be 50 clubs and 50 national teams that can become world champions.’
Infantino (above) announced his plans to make football more global in its current structure
The news arrived just after Liverpool and Manchester United’s plans to reform English football through ‘Project Big Picture’ were quashed after a meeting with Premier League clubs.
The ‘European Super League’ would likely replace the Champions League and strip UEFA of its biggest asset in club football. It has been reported that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez drafted up the plans.
Incentives for teams to join the new league include prize money worth hundreds of millions of pounds offered on a yearly basis.
However, Infantino says his priority is to help non-European teams in their growth in the football industry, especially during tough economic situations caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The 18-team league with big prize money would likely replace the Champions League (above)
‘Fifa’s mission is to promote and develop football around the world and not just in Europe. The differences between Europe and the rest of the world have grown and will continue to grow if we do nothing.
‘That is why we want to help clubs outside Europe to get back on track. And after coronavirus, these projects are more appropriate than ever.
‘We now see with this virus that we have to work together worldwide. That is exactly what Fifa does.’
Meanwhile, UEFA confirmed on Tuesday that it is against all forms of a Super League in Europe.
European football governing body UEFA were quick to reject the Super League idea this week
A spokesperson said: ‘The UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has made it clear on many occasions that UEFA strongly opposes a Super League.
‘The principles of solidarity, of promotion, relegation and open leagues are non- negotiable. It is what makes European football work and the Champions League the best sports competition in the world.
‘UEFA and clubs are committed to build on such strength, not destroy it to create a Super League of 10, 12, even 24 clubs, which would inevitably become boring.’
Several top personalities in football, including Jamie Carragher, Gary Neville and Luis Figo, also announced their opposition to the £4.6billion plans.