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SCANDAL-RIDDEN Fifa is planning to team up with Saudi Arabian, Chinese and US investors in a $25 billion (£17.6bn), 12-year deal that could add two major international tournaments to an already crowded football calendar.
With preparations for this year’s World Cup in Russia reaching a climax, Fifa boss Gianni Infantino is looking to launch an expanded 24-team Club World Cup — played every four years starting in 2021 — and a separate global competition for national teams every two years.
Fifa would have a 51 per cent stake in the joint venture, with the investors underwriting guaranteed revenues of at least £17.6bn, sources told the Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity.
The Club World Cup is currently a seven-team event played each December and usually won by a European team. The Champions League winner joins the five other continental club champions and the host nation’s league champion. Fifa’s financial report says the 2017 edition in Abu Dhabi earned £26 million.
The second scheme, known as the Nations League, would replace the Confederations Cup as Fifa’s second-tier competition in a format yet to be decided.
The project is far from certain to succeed and is likely to face a hostile reception in Europe, which hosts the world’s biggest stars and most popular club competitions.
Fifa has put pressure on football’s continental governing bodies for a quick decision.
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