Europe’s leading clubs have opened legal proceedings against FIFA to try to get compensation for the use of their players at the World Cup.

The G14 group has filed a complaint with the Swiss Competition Commission..

The clubs are unhappy that players return injured from international duty at vital stages of the season and feel they should receive compensation for agreeing to release the players.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has rejected the clubs’ claims in the past but this is clearest indication yet that the clubs mean business.

The commission said in a statement that the G14 group, which includes Real Madrid, Manchester United and Milan was contesting the relase for players for FIFA-backed competitions.

“This complaint concerns points of dispute between clubs and national teams, particularly concerning clubs making players available to national teams for free for competitions organised by FIFA,” it said.

“The preliminary inquiry will aim to show if there are elements of illicit competitive restrictions under FIFA rules.”