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Infantino rejects FIFA conspiracy with ESL

Sat 22 May 2021 | 8:53

Gianni Infantino promised that FIFA will protect football from ‘wrong’ tournaments and insisted he did not encourage the European Super League.

The FIFA president denied conspiring with the Super League clubs but revealed that they had talks about the project.

Gianni Infantino

spoke following the FIFA congress, insisting that the ESL plans were ‘a rupture’ in football.

When quizzed if FIFA was involved in the planning, Infantino provided a nine-minute response that it was his responsibility to listen to new suggestions and ideas in the game.

Javier Tebas, the La Liga president, stated that Infantino encouraged the ESL plans; however, the accusations were denied by the FIFA chief.

"

Let me tell you that when we are analysing these questions, we should look at the facts and not rumours or corridor gossip, especially not coming from certain parts,"

Infantino said.

The ESL proposal was pronounced and collapsed within 48 hours in April, which caused dismay for players, coaches, fans, national associations and politicians.

"

I know many clubs,"

Infantino told reporters in a conference call.

"I speak with clubs for many years, since my days at UEFA, and when speaking to European clubs the Super League topic always is a topic for discussion.

"Everyone in football knows that, so let's not play games here. Everyone in football knows for years clubs have been studying and preparing for this or similar projects.

"In the 16 years I was in UEFA we always managed that, and I can tell you there were projects that were far more advanced than the one we have seen recently.

"At FIFA it is also my responsibility and our responsibility to discuss with football stakeholders. Now to listen to some clubs and to speak with some clubs doesn't certainly mean in any way whatsoever that FIFA was behind, was colluding, was plotting or I don't know what words you used for any Super League project."

Infantino referred to a FIFA statement that claimed the world body would not accept a breakaway tournament.

"

In that moment, the rupture was of course becoming inevitable and the rupture is never good, it's not good for anyone,"

Infantino said on Friday.

"No war is good – never. We are ready to defend football from projects we know are wrong."

He added:

"I don't close the doors to any discussion with anyone – never – about new formats, new ideas, new competitions. I'm ready to listen to everyone.

"This is my job ... the way I live the presidency of FIFA.

"I'm aware some people prefer to spin these discussions in a different way and I can understand that attacking me or FIFA is a good way to divert the attention from real problems that have never been addressed in the last years."

Infantino did not name his goal for that remark, but said:

"I hope that as of today we can move to the real issues that football is facing."


source: SportMob