Football: European leagues threaten legal action over Qatar World Cup

Football: European leagues threaten legal action over Qatar World Cup
President Sepp Blatter holding up the name of Qatar during the official announcement of the 2022 World Cup host country at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich.

BARCELONA - Europe's top leagues could launch legal action against FIFA for the sporting and economic damage caused by moving the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, according to the French league president Frederic Thiriez.

At a meeting in Barcelona on Saturday, the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) adopted a resolution slamming the decision to move the competition from its traditional date in June and July to November and December to combat the searing heat in the middle-east.

"The EPFL is ready to support any legal actions that the individual leagues may take in this respect in the near future," said Thiriez.

"The EPFL is very disappointed with the decision of the FIFA ExCo who decided to move the World Cup to November and December in 2022.

"This is seriously damaging to the European leagues both from a sporting and a financial point of view.

"This decision raises serious questions about the motivations of many involved in the decision-making process and further demonstrated the lack of good governance within the national football governing bodies."

FIFA announced on Friday that it will triple the amount paid to clubs who release their players for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to US$209 million (S$288.1 million).

However, Thiriez insisted that the EPFL has to look out for the interests of all clubs with the vast majority of the compensation promised going to the top clubs in a few leagues.

"The EPFL has the responsiblity to protect the interests of all clubs, including those that do not release players for the national associations competitions. Today the interests of those clubs are not protected."

 

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