The idea of a breakaway European Super League has been emphatically rejected by FIFA and the game’s six continental confederations.
Renewed reports of such a competition surfaced late last year, with American banking giant JP Morgan said to be prepared to bankroll it.
However, a joint statement confirms the only such tournament that will receive official recognition is the Club World Cup, and that any player involved in a breakaway event would be barred from being involved in official competitions.
The statement read: “In light of recent media speculation about the creation of a closed European ‘Super League’ by some European clubs, FIFA and the six confederations once again would like to reiterate and strongly emphasise that such a competition would not be recognised by either FIFA or the respective confederation.
“Any club or player involved in such a competition would as a consequence not be allowed to participate in any competition organised by FIFA or their respective confederation.”
The statement added: “The universal principles of sporting merit, solidarity, promotion and relegation, and subsidiarity are the foundation of the football pyramid that ensures football’s global success and are, as such, enshrined in the FIFA and confederation statutes.
“Football has a long and successful history thanks to these principles. Participation in global and continental competitions should always be won on the pitch.”
FIFA president Gianni Infantino put his name to the statement, as did his counterparts at European football’s governing body UEFA, the Confederation of African Football, the Asian Football Confederation, CONCACAF (which represents nations in North and Central America and the Caribbean), the Oceania Football Confederation and South America’s CONMEBOL.
FIFA has given its backing to an expanded Club World Cup format. The first such tournament was due to take place in China this summer but has been indefinitely postponed to enable the delayed Euro 2020 and Copa America to take place.
Speaking in the Swiss media last October, Infantino said: “For me, I’m not interested in Bayern versus Liverpool, but Bayern versus Boca Juniors from Buenos Aires.
“Liverpool has 180million fans worldwide. Flamengo about 40million. Flamengo has 39million of these 40million fans in Brazil, but Liverpool has perhaps only five million fans in England, the other 175million around the world.
“I want clubs from outside Europe to have global appeal in the future. My vision is: there should be 50 clubs and 50 national teams that can become world champions.”