ECA Believe FIFA World Cup Proposal Will Destroy Club Football
The European Club Association has frowned at FIFA's decision to host the World Cup every two years. ECA represents over 230 clubs across the continent said if the proposal sees the light of the day, then club football will be destroyed.
ECA released a statement on its website on Friday, September 24th, 2021. The body affirmed its position to stand against the proposal that FIFA have submitted.
Arsene Wenger is the brain behind the proposal but it has received a lot of criticism from different bodies around the world. UEFA released a statement on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021, have condemned the proposal submitted by FIFA.
In light of the range of predisposed decisions and communications made by FIFA recently in amending or planning future reform of the International Match Calendar (IMC), in direct and unilateral breach of certain legal obligations, ECA as the voice of professional football clubs of Europe feels compelled to issue the following.
Football clubs have always been a fundamental and respected voice in shaping the future of the IMC. They are the cornerstone of football, being the driver of competitions; the primary hub and home of player development and investment; and the fulcrum of fans and their local communities. This is why the Memorandum of Understanding ( MOU), which governs the relationship between ECA and FIFA, places the IMC at its core. This MoU between the clubs and FIFA places the IMC at its core. This MoU between the clubs and FIFA places the IMC at its core. This MoU between the clubs and FIFA was agreed upon following detailed negotiations and joint approval of the IMC, as well as the processes that govern the IMC.
ECA has been clear in its position that changes are needed to the IMC. A modernised and simpler IMC needs to be founded on fewer release windows; better player protection and health; and a balanced approach to club and international football. ECA has made clear publicly, privately and repeatedly, its availability to engage with FIFA to agree on what those changes should be.
ECA has therefore followed with grave concern and alarm FIFA's launch of active PR campaigns and much pretence, apparently seeking to railroad through reforms to the IMC, particularly the introduction of a biennial World Cup.
Aside from the notable lack of genuine (or indeed any) consultation, and as many stakeholders have pointed out in recent days, FIFA's proposals would lead to a direct and destructive impact on the club game, both the proposals would put players' health and wellbeing at risk. They would dilute the value and meaning of club and country competitions. They would diminish and conflict with women's and youth football being under-represented areas of the game where ECA and others are committing significant time, talent and resources while also subordinating other sporting tournaments and interests at all levels worldwide.
Given the centrality of the IMC to club football, and of club football to the IMC, ECA reiterates in the most unambiguous terms that any decisions relating to its future can only come about with the consent of football clubs, with player welfare at their heart, and in keeping with legally binding obligations which ordinarily should not need re-stating.
In short, the reform of the IMC must be founded on jointly agreed outcomes, balanced in the interests of all, following honest and detailed consultation not simply railroaded in the singular interests of FIFA on the back of a series of PR campaigns.
Arsene Wenger believes the decision will receive enough votes, which will ensure the proposal sees the light of day.