PARIS – Fifa president Gianni Infantino believes his new Club World Cup could generate as much as $50 billion (over R74.2 trillion) in commercial income when it starts in 2021.
Infantino was re-elected unopposed for a second term as Fifa president in Paris on Wednesday, and will now press on with plans already approved for the expanded competition.
The Club World Cup in its present format involves only seven teams, but he believes a 24-team competition will bring in huge sums, possibly even more than the $25 billion previously quoted.
“In terms of commercialisation, I hope to make 50 billion, not 25. I’m not sure we’ll get them but I hope so,” Infantino said, although he did not state how many editions that would cover.
A source told AFP that such a figure was “scarcely credible”, given that the initial offer of $25 billion covered three editions of the Club World Cup and three editions of a global Nations League, with the latter project subsequently having been abandoned.
The plan for a new 24-team Club World Cup starting in 2021 – with the participation of eight teams from Europe – was approved at the Fifa Council meeting in Miami in March despite opposition from Uefa and the powerful European Club Association.
An offer of $25 billion to invest in the new Club World Cup is believed to have come from a group of investors in Asia and the Middle East, although their names have never been revealed by Fifa.
However, Infantino insisted that Fifa would still own the rights to their new competition.
“We have decided to have a Club World Cup in 2021, we will commercialise it, and we will see what comes in,” he said.
“It was never a question of a financial investor taking over the competition. The rights always remained with Fifa.”