FIFA president Sepp Blatter insists World Club Championship will be held in 2005 despite warnings issued by by European clubs about the desirability of staging the competition.
FIFA’s executive committee has adopted an international calendar for 2005 to 2008, which schedules both a Confederations Cup as well as the new World Club Championship in 2005.
“It is binding,” Blatter commented.
The issue looks set to place FIFA on a collision course with leading Europoean clubs, many of whom have expressed their disquiet about competitions being added to an already congested fixture list.
“I’m persuaded that the clubs will give the players if they are asked to do so by their national associations,” Blatter said after the executive committee meeting.
“I have seen three big clubs are going to Asia, Manchester United are going to California,” Blatter said, when asked about the concerns of European clubs.
“Clubs from the other continents also have the right to meet those from countries in South America or Europe,” Blatter said.
To appease the clubs, FIFA did agree to implement a rule which would prevent South American countries calling up players from European clubs for national team friendlies, unless the match was taking place in Europe.