FIFA are set to pay clubs around £300m to send players to the 2026 World Cup as part of a huge cash boost, according to Sky News.
The fund agreed by Fifa and the European Club Association (ECA) is up around 75 per cent on clubs’ $209m (£170m) split in rewards for developing and releasing players in the World Cup 2022.
The World Cup goes from 32 to 48 teams for the tournament co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico in 2026 and increases from 64 to 104 matches.
Sources have told Sky News that a deal has been reached ahead of the key CEA annual meeting in Budapest, which the FIFA president is due to attend. Gianni Infantino.
The ECA is also in talks with FIFA to form a joint venture to sell the commercial rights to the new 32-team Men’s Club World Cup due to launch in 2025, Sky News has learned.
A partnership aimed at maximizing revenue from the new tournament would mark a significant improvement in relations between Europe’s top clubs and FIFA.
Europe’s elite teams had opposed FIFA changing the Club World Cup from an annual seven-team event to a 32-team competition every four years.
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But now clubs are welcoming the new cash flow and gaining more power within FIFA – a blow to the ongoing push for a European Super League.
This breakaway is still being pursued by Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid despite the original concept collapsing within 48 hours in 2021 after six English clubs were forced to withdraw.