Qatar Behind Plan For New Football Tournament Offering 'Enormous' Prize Money
The world’s leading football clubs "are to be offered enormous financial inducements to participate in a 24-team tournament every two years in Qatar and neighbouring Gulf states," according to Oliver Kay of the LONDON TIMES. The "Dream Football League" will be backed by the Qatari royal family, who will release plans next month for a new club tournament "that it hopes to establish as a rival to the Champions League and the Club World Cup." The move is the latest attempt in Qatar's bid to become "a dominant player in world football," and it presents "a clear threat" to FIFA and UEFA. It is unclear if any Premier League clubs would sign on, but DFL "is prepared to offer elite clubs such as Barcelona and Manchester United an astonishing €200M ($260M) per two-year cycle" to gain support. The goal is for four of England's top clubs to be among 16 “permanent” DFL members, with a further eight global clubs competing on an invitational basis.The project "is being driven from Doha and Paris after the recent takeover of Paris Saint-Germain by Qatar Sports Investment (QSI)." The sums under discussion would "dwarf those in the Champions League"(LONDON TIMES, 3/13).