In Brief

Fifa World Cup ban for European Super League players

Infantino warns clubs and stars linked with the breakaway league

Fifa president Gianni Infantino has warned the world’s best footballers that they will be banned from playing in the World Cup if their clubs join a European Super League.

According to documents and emails published by German magazine Der Spiegel in its “Football Leaks” series, 16 clubs are claimed to be planning the launch of a breakaway league in 2021.

Der Spiegel claims that 11 “founding member” clubs would be joined in the super league by five “initial guests”. The founders named in the leaked documents are Premier League clubs Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City and European giants Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan.

The five additional teams are named as Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Marseille, Inter Milan and Roma.

The Guardian, citing Der Spiegel’s report, says that if the plans for the European Super League went ahead the competition would replace the Uefa Champions League in three years’ time.

Speaking yesterday at Fifa’s headquarters in Switzerland, Infantino confirmed that it’s not just participation in the Fifa World Cup that’s at risk, but also the European Championship and other tournaments. He said: “Either you are in or you are out. This includes everything.”

Quoted by The Daily Telegraph, Fifa’s legal director Alasdair Bell added: “The idea is if you break away, you break away. You don’t keep one foot in and one foot out. That would be the general approach we would follow, but of course lawyers can debate this for a long time.”

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