— Published 28 March 2023

FIFA puts clubs in their pocket

Money continues to flow freely in professional soccer. FIFA announced via a statement on Monday, March 27, to have renewed until 2030 its agreement with the European Club Association (ECA). The document was signed by Gianni Infantino, the president of the body, and Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, his counterpart of the ECA, during the general assembly of the association in Budapest. It “strengthens the relationship” between the two organizations, “bringing long-term stability to national team and club soccer.” How? The answer lies in one figure: 355 million dollars, the prize money that will be awarded from the 2026 World Cup onwards to clubs that make their internationals available to national teams. This compensation fund amounted to 209 million dollars for the 2018 and 2022 editions. A nice increase, therefore. But, in return, the clubs concerned have committed to “comply with the international calendar of matches until 2030“. A calendar that should include from 2025 a Club World Cup with 32 teams, including 12 from European championships. The ECA also confirmed its support for an annual match between the winner of the UEFA Champions League and the winner of an intercontinental play-off, as well as for the creation of a FIFA Women’s Club World Cup. In short, more money for the clubs, but also more matches.