FIFA says prepared to open up bidding for proposed tournaments

FIFA says prepared to open up bidding for proposed tournaments
FILE PHOTO: The logo of FIFA is seen in front of its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland September 26, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo -
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ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA suggested on Friday that it will open up a bidding process to find financial backers for two new proposed international tournaments in an apparent change to president Gianni Infantino's strategy.

Infantino has proposed the creation of a new 24-team Club World Cup, held every four years, and a global version of UEFA's Nations League. He wants the tournaments to start in 2021.

The FIFA President said his plans, first put forward at a FIFA meeting in Bogota a year ago, were based on an offer from an investment consortium willing to put in $25 billion over a 12-year cycle in return for 49 percent ownership of the competitions.

However, FIFA suggested on Friday that other bids would also be invited once it had decided on the competition format, although it denied it had rejected the original bid outright.

"FIFA has not refused any offer as there is no agreed competition format yet," the global soccer body said in an emailed statement to Reuters. "When a new competition format is agreed, FIFA will see what the market has to offer."

(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Keith Weir)

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