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Friday, 22 January 2021

Club World Cup must be best competition in world, says Infantino

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Club World Cup must be best competition in world, says Infantino
Club World Cup must be best competition in world, says Infantino

FIFA boss is pressing forward with expansion plan, looks to shake up world football

VIDEO SHOWS: FIFA PRESIDENT GIANNI INFANTINO TALKING ABOUT AN EXPANDED CLUB WORLD CUP / HOLDING A WOMEN'S WORLD CUP EVERY TWO YEARS / PROGRESS ON WOMEN WATCHING FOOTBALL IN IRAN SHOWS: DOHA, QATAR (DECEMBER 20, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.

FIFA PRESIDENT GIANNI INFANTINO WALKS INTO MEDIA BRIEFING 2.

INFANTINO GETTING MICROPHONE PUT IN PLACE 3.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FIFA PRESIDENT GIANNI INFANTINO SAYING: "The decision on the Club World Cup in 2021 with 24 teams, a big decision, an important decision.

The Club World Cup will become the best club competition in the world.

Whatever FIFA is doing has to be the best, that is clear." 4.

WHITE FLASH 5.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FIFA PRESIDENT GIANNI INFANTINO SAYING: "If you want to develop football in the world and that is certainly the task FIFA has to have, then we need to have the ambition and objective to have 50 clubs around the world.

This doesn't mean 50 clubs playing a Club World Cup.

50 clubs in which people around the world can identify themselves with.

We have to think about what kind of platforms we can give them.

The Club World Cup, the new Club World Cup, is certainly one that goes in that direction." 6.

INFANTINO DURING MEDIA BRIEFING 7.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FIFA PRESIDENT GIANNI INFANTINO SAYING: "Clubs are seeking, Europeans but not only, are seeking global reach, global platforms. And I think it is our duty to discuss and to see what we could do better, what it will be I don't know.

We will see we have a Club World Cup, a new Club World Cup in 2021 every four years instead of the Confederations Cup.

We actually took away a competition and replaced it with a new competition, we didn't increase the number of games." 8.

CAMERA SCREEN SHOWING INFANTINO 9.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FIFA PRESIDENT GIANNI INFANTINO SAYING ON SPEAKING TO PRESIDENT OF FRENCH FA, NOEL LE GRAET: "He said we should have the women's World Cup every two years instead of every four years because of this incredible impact for the development of the game.

And you know he has a point.

The impact was bigger than anything else.

When you go back to the club football season, or go back to the qualifiers, there is a bit of an increase, but not such an increase, so we need to see what kind of big events we can create." 10.

MEDIA 11.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FIFA PRESIDENT GIANNI INFANTINO SAYING: "I will go back to Iran early in the New Year.

I want to watch or witness club games as well where women can enter a stadium.

Does it change a lot in terms of women's rights in Iran or anywhere in the world?

Well it is a step, it is a step, in the right direction.

I think it has a big symbolic value, and certainly it changes the lives or many, many women, who can enjoy their passion which is football as well in Iran." 12.

INFANTINO / CAMERA SCREEN STORY: FIFA has received nine bids for the commercial rights to the new expanded 24-team Club World Cup and plans to press ahead with the tournament despite concerns about global football's overcrowded schedule.

The first edition of the new format is set to be held in China in 2021, and the rights packages will allow companies to secure sponsorship, advertising and television broadcast and media deals on behalf of FIFA.

The current seven-team Club World Cup, consisting of the champions of the continental confederations, concludes on Saturday (December 21) with the final between European champions Liverpool and Brazil's Flamengo.

It has traditionally struggled to gain status in Europe, but Infantino expects the new format to attract a significant increase in commercial and fan interest.

The plan for 2021, however, has faced opposition from European clubs, who say there is no room in the current international calendar, and the tournament is also scheduled for the same period as the Africa Cup of Nations, raising a possible conflict for players.

Speaking to media in the Qatari capital of Doha on Friday (December 20) Infantino said the new tournament was a logical response to the growth of the game internationally and the desire of clubs to be global brands.

Meanwhile Infantino said he was exploring plans to host the women's World Cup every two years to help grow the game, and was pleased women were allowed to watch soccer in Iran for the first time in years during a recent international against Cambodia.

(Production: Iain Axon and Abdelhadi Ramahi)

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