Blatter lambasts Infantino for ´over-commercialisation´

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Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has accused his successor Gianni Infantino of disrespect, while lambasting plans to expand the World Cup.

The Qatar 2022 edition of football’s flagship tournament is the last to feature its current 32-team format, with 48 nations set to take part at the 2026 event.

Infantino has pushed for expansion since he replaced Blatter as the head of FIFA and has explored moving the World Cup to either a biennial or triennial cycle.

But his predecessor suggests he is not acting in the best interests of the sport.

“What is happening at the moment is an over-commercialisation of the game,” he told German newspaper Die Ziet. “[It is] trying to squeeze more and more out of the lemon.

“[Look at] the World Cup with 48 teams, or a Club World Cup that must be viewed as competition to the UEFA Champions League. FIFA is meddling in something that doesn’t really concern them.

“I have no relationship with Infantino. He behaved disrespectfully because he has refused any contact with me since his election. He only communicates with me through lawyers.”

Infantino revealed plans for a 32-team Club World Cup earlier this month, returning to a planned expansion originally waylaid by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proposal is still subject to confederation approval, and is expected to generate pushback from several leading clubs, particularly in the wake of the failed European Super League breakaway.



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