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FIFA's $25 Billion Revamp Plan Comes Under Fire

  • ‘Hasty timing and lack of concrete information’ is criticized
  • FIFA chief Infantino backs plan from group of investors

FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s reported $25 billion proposal for reshaping world soccer by starting two new tournaments with a group of investors has come under fire from a key European professional football body.

The Professional Football Strategy Council, which includes representatives from soccer clubs, leagues, players and the region’s governing body, criticized the “hasty timing and lack of concrete information” about the plans, according to a statement Wednesday.

Infantino disclosed the investment proposal, made by a consortium of Asian and Middle Eastern investors, to top FIFA officials in March, the New York Times reported last month. The FIFA Council rejected the proposal after the president didn’t reveal the identity of the investors, on the grounds that the information was inadequate, according to the newspaper. A few days later, the Financial Times reported that billionaire Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank Group Corp. was part of the consortium.

The investors envisaged a new competition for club teams such as FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United, and another league for national teams, according to the media reports.

PFSC expressed “serious reservations about the process surrounding the FIFA Club World Cup and the Global Nations League proposals,” following a meeting in Lyon, France, on Wednesday. Attendees included Manchester United Plc’s Executive Vice Chairman Ed Woodward and FC Barcelona’s President Josep Bartomeu, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

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