Florentino Pérez to lead new World Club Football Association

Florentino Pérez Rodríguez, president of Real Madrid, at The Best FIFA Football Awards 2019 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez has been appointed president of the World Club Football Association, a new body that will be a platform for dialogue between football clubs and Fifa.

The WCFA was launched following a meeting at Fifa headquarters in Zurich of clubs taking part in the confederation’s revamped Club World Cup in 2021. Its founding clubs are Real Madrid, AC Milan, Auckland City, Boca Juniors, River Plate, Club América, Guangzhou Evergrande and TP Mazembe. Moise Katumbi, president of TP Mazembe, from DR Congo, will be vice president of the WCFA.

The association’s main aim is to “make sure the Fifa Club World Cup will be an event where fans around the world can see the best teams playing the best football competing for the only worldwide club trophy”.

A Read Madrid press release suggested the body had a wider aim, beyond discussing the Club World Cup, saying it would also be “a means to address issues that clubs face and exchange opinions with Fifa in a constructive way”. Read Madrid president Perez initiated the formation of the association.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino welcomed the new association, saying: “We were pleased to host today’s meeting not only because important subjects like the new Fifa Club World Cup were discussed but also because the voice of clubs from all continents was heard. I’m sure that more leading clubs will join in a platform with which we are looking forward to dialogue in the same way we have been doing with Fifa’s member associations, confederations, leagues and players, as well as with key stakeholders of the football community.

“The world is evolving fast, and if football wants to keep growing as the main sport of the planet we need to come together in a constructive, innovative and inclusive spirit to openly talk about the challenges and issues, but also the great opportunities, that we have in front of us.

“My vision is that in the future 40 or 50 clubs from different parts of the globe have the legitimate ambition to win the Fifa Club World Cup. This would mean that their national or regional competitions have developed to that level and that millions of fans are even more engaged in the support of their favourite teams.

“Congratulations to all of those involved and a particular word of appreciation to Florentino Pérez for the initiative to bring clubs from all around the world to the Home of Fifa and for the launching of such a relevant project.”

Florentino Pérez said: “This new association will be a credible, focused counterpart to Fifa, and we will strive to improve all aspects related to clubs, starting with the Fifa Club World Cup in 2021.

“The tournament must be a competition that helps develop club football around the world and that is what the clubs here today hope to achieve alongside Fifa. We hope to maintain an excellent level of cooperation with Fifa to take club football to the next level.”