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A breakaway by leading European clubs to create a so-called Super League “would not be recognised by either FIFA or the respective confederation”, world football’s governing body said in a statement on Thursday, while players would risk being banned from the World Cup if involved.

“Any club or player involved in such a competition would as a consequence not be allowed to participate in any competition organised by FIFA or their respective confederation,” continued the statement, signed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino along with the heads of all six continental confederations including UEFA.

The statement was a response to what it called “recent media speculation” about a breakaway by some of the world’s richest clubs.

‘In this respect, the confederations recognise the FIFA Club World Cup, in its current and new format, as the only worldwide club competition while FIFA recognises the club competitions organised by the confederations as the only club continental competitions.

‘The universal principles of sporting merit, solidarity, promotion and relegation, and subsidiarity are the foundation of the football pyramid that ensures football’s global success and are, as such, enshrined in the FIFA and confederation statutes.

‘Football has a long and successful history thanks to these principles. Participation in global and continental competitions should always be won on the pitch.’

The proposals, which emerged in October last year, were reportedly backed by the Wall Street giant JP Morgan and would include a huge prize pot of several billion pounds.

Between 16 and 18 teams from England, France, Germany, Spain and Italy would be invited to play in the European Premier League from 2022.

They would play home and away matches against each team in the league in a round-robin format, meaning a minimum of 30 games, followed by a knockout competition to determine the champion.

It would be a direct rival to UEFA’s Champions League competition and would likely cause immense damage to the five leading domestic leagues in Europe.

Reports at the time said Liverpool and Man United were in talks over the tournament and the other members of the Premier League’s ‘Big six’ – Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham – had been approached.

It came out of the Project Big Picture proposals that threatened a seismic shake-up of the football landscape in England.

Shortly afterward, plans to revamp the Champions League along the lines of a ‘Swiss system’ emerged.

From 2024, this would mean all 32 Champions League group stage participants playing 10 group games against teams of differing strengths supposedly to make things more competitive.

All 32 teams would be in one big group with the top 16 qualifying for the knockout rounds, the next eight going into the Europa League and the bottom eight eliminated.

Source : Fifa / European News Outlets