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Europe’s G-14 group have voiced their oppostion to FIFA’s plans to extend the number of World Cup finalists to 36.

All the G14 group expressed their “opposition to theproject of increasing the number of teams from 32 to 36 at the World Cup in 2006”.

“This would be against the efforts being made by the clubs who, to avoid an increase in the number of matches, have agreed to do away with the second group phase of the Champions League,” said Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the representative of German champions Bayern Munich.

Rummenigge was backed by Peter Kenyon, the chief executive of Manchester United.

“Reducing the workload of players must not fall only on the clubs,” Kenyon said.

Last week, FIFA delegates backed a recommendation proposed by the CONMEBOL (South American) representative, that the numberfinalists be increased to 36 for the 2006 finals in Germany. The decision is due to be ratified when the FIFA executive meet in June.

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