New Club World Cup outranks European Super League for self-preening greed, Gianni Infantino must be stopped

    FIFA’s idea to stage a 32-team Club World Cup in 2025 outranks even the European Super League in self-preening greed.

    Fed on the success of the football in Qatar, no doubt president Gianni Infantino thinks he has timed his announcement as perfectly as Kylian Mbappe’s sliding volley in the World Cup final.

    Fifa recently announced plans for a new Club World Cup

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    Fifa recently announced plans for a new Club World CupCredit: Getty

    He could not be more wrong.

    Already forces which swatted aside the Super League plan, which was to be a private competition between a dozen European clubs, are preparing to go to war again.

    Infantino believes he is a special man, from his white trainers to his expenses claim for a £8,795 mattress at home.

    He is well named.

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    The infantile pre-tournament rant that he felt a kinship with Qataris, gays, disabled, Africans, migrant workers and women all because he had ginger hair, made me wish Sepp Blatter was back in charge.

    Infantino got away with the most unlikely World Cup venue outside the Moon and no one challenged it.

    He has now constructed this new tournament, as unstable as a wooden house in a rotten tree and is so pleased with himself that he couldn’t wait for the World Cup to finish before he unveiled it.

    Foisted on our sport by a bunch of crooks, Qatar worked because of worldwide enthusiasm for a great competition.

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    It did not work for the hundreds of migrant workers who died building the stadiums.

    Cramming it into the middle of the European season wasn’t popular, either.

    But the fact that national associations were persuaded (bullied) into it were grounds enough for similar arrangements to be put forward for this Club World Cup.

    Full of conceit, Infantino struck at the opportune moment to introduce his tournament, which he says would be played every four years and, he must have estimated, would dwarf the Champions League’s appeal and income.

    There appeared to be no thought about player exhaustion or how the lucky 32 clubs would be chosen, only hints that 13 places would go to European clubs.

    We have no further details yet but let’s say England will be granted one entrant.

    How does that come about?

    Presumably, the Premier League champions from the preceding competition would be chosen — but there must be doubts otherwise a more complete outline surely would have been announced?

    The fact Fifa have not yet announced how they will jam 48 teams into the 2026 World Cup rather supports my view that it is hit and hope.

    Still, it is possible that clubs will be selected by invitation.

    If so, you can bet Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus would receive very favourable treatment regardless of where they finish in their domestic leagues.

    This renegade trio has not given up on a European Super League because they see it as a huge money-spinner.

    And that is, despite the do-good speeches from Infantino & Co, the true motive for a Club World Cup: The billions to be made from huge attendances, TV rights and sponsorship.

    Fifa may see themselves as the United Nations of football but their ambitions are undermined by weak-kneed acceptance of Qatar’s stances and by the way in which previous committee members were corrupted.

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    Infantino now has a third term as president and plans to remain until 2031.

    His latest grab must be defeated.

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