European Club Association, FIFA Memorandum Of Understanding To Expire At End Of Month
There is "a multimillion-pound conflict over the future of football," according to Scott & Bernstein of the London DAILY MAIL. The battle "could mean the 2014 competition in Brazil is the last time FIFA can put on a finals with access to global football idols" such as Lionel Messi, Neymar, Alexis Sanchez and Thomas Müller. Football’s world governing body and top European clubs, represented by the European Club Association, "have shared an uneasy peace through a contract known as a Memorandum of Understanding" agreed to in Jan. '08, which controls the release of players to int'l matches. The document "expires at the end of this month and there is nothing to replace it." A senior source from the ECA, who along with UEFA is a signatory to the MoU, said, "Without the MoU the clubs won’t feel bound to release players to [int'l] teams from outside of Europe. The MoU is the recognition of a basic principle -- the fact that players are club employees. The clubs release them for the commercial purposes of the FAs belonging to FIFA." Top European clubs "have provided" more than 75% of the players at this tournament. But they see Aug. 1 as their opportunity to pull the plug on all involvement in any int'l football run by FIFA, "putting at risk the very existence" of President Sepp Blatter’s organization (DAILY MAIL, 7/12).