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One year on, UEFA still waits for detail on FIFA plans

One year on, UEFA still waits for detail on FIFA plans
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Francois Walschaerts(Reuters)
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By Brian Homewood

ROME (Reuters) - UEFA is still waiting for more details on FIFA's ambitious plans for two new international competitions, nearly one year after they were first aired, the President of European soccer's ruling body said Thursday.

Aleksander Ceferin, re-elected unopposed for a new four-year term, said he expected a "proper consultation process" before UEFA would drop its opposition and that he was not prepared to be a "yes man".

FIFA President Gianni Infantino, meanwhile, said a task force set up to look at possible formats for the competitions may not complete its report by March as originally scheduled.

Infantino has proposed the creation of a 24-team Club

World Cup, held every four years, and a global version of UEFA's Nations League.

The FIFA President said his plans, first put forward at a FIFA Council meeting in Bogota last March, were backed by an investment consortium willing to put in $25 billion (19 billion pounds) over a 12-year cycle in return for 49 percent ownership of the competitions.

UEFA's opposition forced FIFA to set up a task force to look at possible formats and present its findings at the next FIFA Council in Miami in March.

"I don't know what competitions there will be in two years, four years, ten years but we didn't get any more information that we had in Bogota in March," Ceferin told reporters after UEFA's annual Congress. "We expect a proper consultation process."

He added, however, added that FIFA may be learning its lesson.

"I have a good feeling that we will start talking now that everyone has understood (that) without proper consultation we would not end up anywhere," Ceferin said.

During his opening speech to the Congress, Ceferin said he would not simply wave the proposal through.

"It is often the yes-men who lure leaders to their demise," he said. "By telling FIFA that we disagree with their current proposals on the Global Nations League and the Club World Cup, we show them respect and we show respect to football, the game we love and the game we must protect."

Infantino, speaking on the sidelines of the Congress, said he respected UEFA's position.

"The respect goes two ways towards the world and Europe and I think that's the right approach," Infantino he said." We need to discuss altogether with respect, with a constructive

spirit.

"We still have six weeks until Miami, we are working, maybe something will be decided by then. ....otherwise we will have to postpone."

(Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond)

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