UEFA prepares to fight Saudi-backed Club World Cup plan

Barcelona backs FIFA's proposal for 24-team Club World Cup

The Times suggests that United and Liverpool will be two of 12 European clubs invited to take part, having won at least three European Cups in the past.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Inter, Juventus, Ajax and Paris Saint-Germain are the 10 European nations said to be confirmed for the first tournament with an extra two to be picked from Manchester City, Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Porto and Benfica.

Ahead of the Europa League final in Lyon, the governing body of European football is holding a meeting of its "Council of UEFA" and FIFA president Gianni Infantino's plans are the main topic on the agenda.

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Uefa is reported to be unhappy with the proposal, its chief concern being that Fifa's new Club World Cup could have a detrimental impact on its hugely lucrative Champions League. The 24 clubs would share a pot of approximately £1.5 billion with the victor earning £100 million and a guaranteed £50 million just for participating.

Of course, the clubs would not have to take part should they not wish to do so, but with a guaranteed £50m for competing and a potential £100m for winning the tournament, clubs are unlikely to turn down the offer. Some domestic competitions, including the English Premier League, are also said to be firmly opposed to the idea.

It's claimed that Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino is aiming to secure an agreement for the new competition before this summer's World Cup begins next month.

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