Friday 9 December 2016

Uefa plots to break away from Fifa and host a rival tournament

Camilla Turner

Published 02/06/2015 | 10:46

FIFA President Sepp Blatter
FIFA President Sepp Blatter

Uefa is plotting to break away from Fifa and host a rival tournament in a bid to force reform and oust Sepp Blatter, it has been reported.

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Under the plan a European Championship would be held every two years with invites to big football nations in other parts of the world.

The radical initiative was proposed by Denmark's Uefa ExCo member Allan Hansen, who backs a full breakaway from Fifa, at a meeting of Europe's 54 territories last Friday, the Mail reported.

The plans were discussed before Blatter, 79, had been re-elected for a fifth term as president.

Meanwhile, the former prime minister of Qatar denied claims that his country paid large bribes to win the right to host the 2022 World Cup and accused the west of racism, Islamophobia and bias against Arabs and the Gulf state.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, who was prime minister and foreign minister of Qatar until 2013, said that claims of corruption against his nation had been made by countries that had lost out in a “fair competition”.

“See how they don’t talk about Russia with Qatar,” he told Fox News on Sunday.

“We support of course Russia, to have their turn in 2018. But we see the talk…is all about Qatar, because it comes to a small Arab, Islamic country. That’s how people feel.”

His comments are the first public response from within Qatrar’s ruling family since the US indictment of Fifa officials on charges of money laundering and racketeering.

“We dealt with this in a fair competition and there was no corruption,” Sheikh al-Thani said.

On Sunday Labour's shadow culture secretary urged David Cameron to hold an emergency summit over Fifa corruption claims to ensure Britain does not "idly stand by".

Chris Bryant MP said he wants politicians, the English Football Association, British sponsors and broadcasters to establish a "common position" and give "serious consideration" to withdrawing from all future Fifa competitions.

In the letter to Prime Minister he said Britain "cannot just be commentators or spectators".

It comes amid calls to boycott the World Cup after Blatter was re-elected as leader on Friday, despite the arrests of football officials on suspicion of decades of bribe taking.

Telegraph.co.uk

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