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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football Briefs: FIFA proposes staging new mini-World Cup every two years

Football Briefs: FIFA proposes staging new mini-World Cup every two years

May 02, 2018 18:58 IST

News of all that's transpired on and off the football field

FIFA president Gianni Infantino

IMAGE: FIFA president Gianni Infantino. Photograph: Valeriano Di Domenico/Getty Images

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has proposed staging what would effectively be a mini-World Cup, featuring eight international teams, every two years in addition to the traditional competition.

The tournament, known as the ‘Final 8’, would be the climax of a global Nations League competition, which is part of an ambitious plan to reform international football which FIFA believes could be worth $25 billion in a 12-year cycle.

 

In a letter seen by Reuters, Infantino suggested that the new tournament would take place every October and/or November of every odd year starting from 2021.

He said that a "solid and serious" group of investors were willing to spend $25 billion on the competition and a revamped version of the Club World Cup, which would also start in 2021 with 24 teams.

The Confederations Cup, currently staged every four years in a year before the World Cup, would be abolished.

The letter did not clearly indicate how many slots would be allocated to each region.

The plans were sent by Infantino to the members of FIFA's decision-making Council which still has to approve them.

European soccer body UEFA and its counterpart for North and Central America and the Caribbean, CONCACAF, have already set up Nations League contests in their own continents.

In both cases, the competitions involve all the national teams in their respective regions who are divided into divisions based on their rankings.

There is promotion and relegation between the divisions, as in conventional domestic club leagues. UEFA's inaugural competition will begin in September this year.

Other continents would have to set up similar competitions for the tournament to be viable.

CSKA Sofia coach Belchev quits after missing out on trophies

CSKA Sofia coach Stamen Belchev resigned after about a year and a half in charge, having failed to outclass Ludogorets in the Bulgarian league title race or win any other trophy.

"After a series of negative results, Stamen Belchev decided to quit his post as head coach," CSKA, still the most successful club in the Balkan nation with 31 league titles, said in a statement.

The 48-year-old had been seeking to end Ludogorets’ domination of the domestic league in recent years. CSKA had looked like title contenders in the first half of the season but the team's performance was criticised in recent months.

Ludogorets clinched their seventh successive league title with four games to spare on Sunday.

CSKA, one of the two most popular Bulgarian clubs alongside city rivals Levski Sofia, have not won the domestic title since 2008.

The Reds, as CSKA are known in Bulgaria, named Hristo Yanev as their coach for the remainder of the season, the club said.

Yanev, a former midfielder and national team player, coached CSKA for about a year until August 2016 during a period when the club was demoted to the third division due to a financial crisis. He made history when CSKA become the first third-tier club to win the Bulgarian cup.

CSKA, founded in 1948 as an army club, mark their 70th anniversary on Saturday when they host Ludogorets at the Vasil Levski national stadium, expected to be one of the best attended matches in the domestic fixture.

Dynamos part ways with head coach Portugal

Delhi Dynamos has released its head coach Miguel Angel Portugal of Spain following the team's disappointing outing in the 2017-18 Indian Super League.

Dynamos issued a statement on Wednesday to announce that the club has parted ways with Portugal by mutual consent.

Despite a slow start to the ISL Season 4, Portugal rallied back his troops after the turn of the year as the Lions went unbeaten in eight out of the 11 matches played in 2018.

Under the Spaniard, Dynamos were the fourth highest scorers in the tournament.

But both the club and Portugal agreed that the results overall were not upto the mark this season.

The club finished eighth in the league standings and were beaten in the qualifying rounds of the inaugural Hero Super Cup and it was in the best interest of the two parties to go their separate ways.  

“I had a very memorable time here in Delhi Dynamos and in the ISL. The club showed great belief in my abilities this season and even though we didn't win the trophy, the fans were happy with the way we played football and that makes me happy," Portugal said in his parting statement.

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