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Infantino puts $25bn overhaul of world soccer competitions on hold

Gianni Infantino’s plans to launch a $25bn (€22bn) overhaul of world soccer competitions has been postponed after Fifa set up a taskforce to examine proposals for a new Club World Cup and Global Nations League.

Fifa will present its findings at a council meeting in Miami in March.

Uefa delegates threatened to walk out of the Fifa Council meeting in Rwanda on Friday if Infantino, the Fifa president, had pushed for a vote. “Common sense prevailed,” Uefa president Aleksander Čeferin said after leaving the meeting.

Infantino has been trying to gain approval to accept a controversial $25bn offer from a global financial consortium, including Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, to overhaul the Club World Cup and Nations League.

There are two proposals to revamp the Club World Cup from 2021. Firstly, a 24-team tournament staged every four years over a maximum of 18 days in June, effectively replacing the Confederations Cup.

The second would shift the annual six-team Club World Cup from December to July-August, a window currently used by European teams to undertake lucrative preseason tours to the United States and Far East.

Infantino’s Global Nations League idea is to bring together the winners of various continental Nations League competitions every odd-numbered year.

Meanwhile, the Fifa Council also approved a doubling of prize money for the Women’s World Cup, to $30m next year. The champion next year in France will earn $4m, twice the amount collected by the USA women’s team in 2015 but far less than the $38m earned by France for winning the men’s World Cup in July.

Elsewhere, Infantino said Fifa is ready to unblock a $100m fund from 2014 World Cup revenues for hosts Brazil. The fund was frozen in fall-out from corruption investigations.