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UEFA president Ceferin slams 'strange' FIFA over Club World Cup and Nations League

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UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has launched a fierce attack on FIFA over its proposed expansion of the Club World Cup and handling of the new Nations League.

Reports this week suggested Premier League sides Manchester United and Manchester City were among seven clubs involved in a meeting over a revamped Club World Cup, the competition which in its current form features the winners of the Champions League and its equivalent in each FIFA confederation along with the host nation's league champion.

Ceferin warned against expansion of the event due to player burnout and also condemned the reported talks being limited to big-budget clubs deemed "important.''

"About the so-called Club World Cup,'' he told German magazine Kicker. "The players are at the limit. FIFA is behaving strangely here too. They are discussing with only a few European clubs. They only invite the clubs that FIFA thinks are the only important ones.

"The ECA [European Club Association] is the associations of clubs in Europe, not only seven clubs. Do you think only one club in Germany, two in Spain and two in England are important? FIFA should respect every single club.

"I cannot imagine that UEFA invites only seven associations or clubs to discuss things that affect the future of all of European football. We conduct our consultations with everyone.

"And of course the clubs are sceptical of the FIFA proposal. I know that at least three of the seven clubs that were invited do not agree with FIFA's approach.''

The inaugural UEFA Nations League begins in September, with four qualifying places for Euro 2020 on offer.

CONCACAF, the confederation for North and Central America and the Caribbean, will run a similar tournament and FIFA held talks last month with international confederations over a global event.

Ceferin said: "We, at UEFA, had an idea about a possible Global Nations League. We first presented it to the FIFA president, then to national associations and to clubs.

"And all of a sudden FIFA comes and says they are ready to sell it, our idea, to a fund. Without any explanations! It is really a strange offer. FIFA just said that they've been offered a lot of money by some people.''