European clubs reiterate their refusal to play in the Club's 2021 World Cup

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The umbrella organization representing over 200 European clubs on Tuesday reiterated that its current members would not take part in the proposed World Cup 2021 Club under the current circumstances.

NOTICE FILE: Soccer Football – Serie A – Lazio v Juventus – Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy – January 27, 2019 Chairman Juventus Andrea Agnelli before the game REUTERS / Alberto Lingria / File Photo

However, the European Association of Clubs (ECA) said it would consider changing its position if FIFA sat down and discussed changes to the international game calendar.

“We are not willing to take part in this competition at present because of the crowded calendar,” said ECA chairman Andrea Agnelli with reporters. “That said, we are more than available to discuss changes for the future.”

Agnelli complained that FIFA did not provide much information on basic matters such as who would be eligible for the planned competition.

“The way this is managed is to manage the local lottery to thank,” said Agnelli. “As it is, we have nothing there.

“We (the clubs) are the ones putting the risks to fruition, we are investing in the long term, investing in players, infrastructure, people carrying the enterprise and financial risks.”

Agnelli, also president of Juventus, said he did not know how his club could qualify for the competition.

“I don't understand how we could get involved because there is no list of access,” he said.

FIFA decided at a meeting of its policy-making Council in Miami earlier this month to go ahead with a 24-strong Club World Cup, from 2021. The Club World Cup is held annually and has seven teams.

Agnelli, who said that FIFA had not forgotten an ECA application without making a decision in Miami, it did not accept the argument that there would normally be a slot in the calendar distributed to the Co-op, which would no longer be played.

“(The argument for replacing the World Cup with the World Cup does not mean that there is a crowded calendar that can only be addressed in the coming years,” he said.

Agnelli also denied that the ECA has recommended Champions League games to play at weekends from 2024 onwards, when the current format is changed.

Writing with Brian Homewood; Edited by Christian Radnedge

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