LEADERS 2014: Clubs not listened to by FIFA, European football bosses say

Real Madrid vice-president Pedro López Jiménez said football's world governing body FIFA was "dysfunctional" in communicating with European football club consortium the ECA, speaking today on a panel at the Leaders Sport Business Summit at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge.

The ECA (European Clubs Association), at which Jiménez is vice-chairman, feels it has little voice within FIFA, he said, a situation which did not reflect the importance of European players and clubs to the world game and tournaments such as the World Cup.

Qatar controversy

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, chief executive of German champions Bayern Munich and ECA chairman, also speaking on the panel, said Fifa's decision to award the 2022 World Cup hosting rights to Qatar is a decision that its executive committee members would have to stick with and it would not be fair on the country should it lose its rights.

However, should the event move from its traditional summer slot, Rummenigge said FIFA would have to compensate club football for the consequent loss of revenues from disrupted domestic fixtures.

AC Milan director and ECA vice-chairman Umberto Gandini, also speaking at the panel, suggested that the winter Olympics – due to take place at the time FIFA are hoping to stage its 2022 flagship event – should be rescheduled as "it is not a major competition like the World Cup and the summer Olympics".


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