This week, UEFA – the European Governing Football Association, will be kicking off a series of events, culminating in the League of Nations Draw. League of Nations is a new tournament format where European Nations opted to utilize the FIFA dates for international tournaments, to implement a closed tournament which exclude nations from other continents. At the time of its inception, UEFA were accused of a discriminatory approach, as other confederations cried foul over prospects of never playing European teams, except during the FIFA World Cup, played on a four-year cycle.
Ironically, current FIFA President Gianni Infantino was the brainchild of this tournament, despite the fact that he has recently morphed into a latter-day global citizen, fighting the same projects he personally initiated while at the helm of UEFA as Secretary-General.
UEFA has recently tried to dispel any racial inclination towards this tournament, by boosting their technical support to other confederations, in a bid to boost domestic technical capacity and grow leagues in far-flung areas.
The UEFA week comes against the backdrop of a growing rift between UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino, following a crucial meeting held between UEFA & Conmebol in Nyon, ostensibly to push for a no-confidence motion against Infantino and his plans to cannibalize existing competitions by imposing new tournaments. This led to the cancellation of the FIFA Council meeting in Asuncion, Paraguay slated for 22nd of March, with members asked to participate via video conference.
The bone of contention is the fact that Gianni Infantino has continued discussing with individual FA’s and clubs in the respective ConFed’s directly, while bypassing official leadership and imposing competitions which will compromise the commercial viability and revenue streams of existing competitions. Infantino is said to be on the edge, fearing that his position is being challenged with the prospects of his removal becoming clearer each day. What he enjoyed as near-unanimous support culminating in his unchallenged re-election as FIFA President last year in Paris, has exposed his soft under-belly, spreading fear and panic within the hallways of Zurich, the Home of FIFA.
European football governors feel a sense of betrayal from a man they wholeheartedly supported for the FIFA Presidency. For starters, they collectively supported the position taken by UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin, who was against the hostile takeover of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) by seconding FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura. Secondly, Gianni Infantino has spear-headed plans to kill UEFA through a season-long breakaway competition for the world’s richest teams, effectively replacing domestic leagues and European tournaments, spear-headed by Real Madrid President Fiorentina Perez.
Buoyed by his large financial kitty, Perez is accused of trying to buy his way into football leadership through the back-door and influence peddling at the expense of Europe’s collective interests.
The war is threatening to break global football as it has reached the point where Ceferin and Infantino are not on talking terms.
UEFA is also said to be mulling an immediately after the Nyon consultative meeting was held, rhetoric and chest-thumping by FIFA mandarins has drastically reduced, as they’re said to be in panic mode, brainstorming ways to diffuse the tension and thwart any rebellion.verhaul of the voting structure at FIFA, because currently the one country, one vote is not serving their best interests.
Many countries which have non-existent football activities are always equal during the congress voting processes, most of the time being swayed with small gestures like allowances and inducements. Most of the times, FIFA President has used threats as a means of imposing consensus amongst corrupt federations, where he has allowed them to continue breaching the FIFA Code of Ethics, in exchange for their vote at the congress.
The Nyon consultative meeting was thus an effort aimed at curtailing the growing threat posed by the entrenchment of corruption as a means of enforcing favourable voting outcomes at the FIFA Congress, a practice which has grown exponentially since Gianni Infantino’s ascend to the FIFA Presidency.
Confederations like CAF have been allowed to embezzle FIFA money in exchange for political support aimed at suppressing UEFA competitions. This unwritten arrangement has seen some of the grossest violations of the FIFA Code of Ethics, with the active participation of FIFA who have prevailed upon the FIFA Ethics Committee to suppress any investigations and stall any bans on the respective individuals.