FIFA's boss expects European top sides to play at Club World Cup
FIFA deputy vice-president Zvonimir Boban said on Tuesday he expects European top clubs to play at the new-look Club World Cup in 2021 despite boycott threats.
The council of the world governing body agreed to change the Club World Cup from an annual tournament with seven teams to a 24-team event every four years from 2021, replacing the Confederations Cup.
Board members of the European Club Association (ECA) sent a letter to FIFA president Gianni Infantino saying its clubs would boycott the new event for which eight teams are to come from Europe.
The absence of European top clubs would be a disaster for FIFA but Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have since said they would play.
Boban told dpa at the ECA assembly in Amsterdam he expects to boycott threat to disappear and that for instance Juventus, presided over by ECA chairman Andrea Agnelli, have now also sent positive signals.
"We are in very good talks. I am convinced that everyone wants to participate, that everyone will participate. It is a good competition for the teams," Boban said.
"The clubs should be glad to have such an event. Up to now they had to release their players for national teams, now they can make use of them themselves."dpa