FIFA to pay clubs $209 million for World Cup 'collaboration'

ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA has announced a threefold increase in the amount of money it pays as part of a collaboration agreement with clubs who release players for the World Cup and the ruling body will hand out $209 million (141.75 million pounds) in both 2018 and 2022.

Journalists are reflected in a logo at the FIFA headquarters after a meeting of the executive committee in Zurich October 4, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Clubs will also be given a greater say in drawing up the international match calendar, which allocates the dates for club and national team matches, following the agreement between FIFA and the European Clubs’ Association (ECA).

The move appeared to placate the European clubs who had said they would demand compensation if the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was staged in November and December.

Those dates, which will force the European season to be stopped for nearly two months, were confirmed by FIFA during an executive committee meeting on Thursday, with the final to be staged on Dec. 18.

“FIFA and the European Club Association (ECA) are pleased to announce an extension to their collaboration agreement, which was established for the first time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup,” FIA said in a statement on Friday.

“A total of $209 million will be distributed among the clubs releasing players to the participating teams in the 2018 FIFA World Cup (in Russia),” FIFA added.

“The same amount has been agreed for the 22nd edition to be staged in Qatar in 2022.”

A total of $70 million was distributed to clubs who released players for last year’s World Cup in Brazil.

“(We have secured a direct say on the international match calendar -- changes thereto will have to be jointly discussed and agreed,” the ECA said.

“In serious and fair negotiations, the ECA has agreed with FIFA on a transparent economic and organisational cooperation until 2022,” ECA president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in a statement.

“For the first time, the European clubs will have a direct say on the international match calendar, which was very important to me personally.

“As a result, the ECA will be actively involved and contribute constructively to the design of the calendar, especially for 2022.

“Moreover, the World Cup club benefits will triple from $70 million to $209 million for the World Cups in 2018 and 2022.

“These payments will benefit clubs from around the world who release World Cup players to their respective national associations. From an ECA perspective, this agreement is a great achievement.

“It marks another milestone for club football as a whole”

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said: “We are taking a huge step forward in promoting relations between FIFA and the clubs in a spirit of mutual and constructive cooperation.”

FIFA uses a complex formula to determine how much each club receives, depending on the amount of players released and the number of days they participate in the competition.

“The agreement puts the emphasis on fundamental principles such as the promotion of training and player development as well as the sporting integrity of the competitions, in the interests of the game and its appeal to the public,” FIFA added.

Editing by Ed Osmond