The response of the FIFA to the protests (it is true that veiled and at the collar of their shirt, just in case) of the clubs, complaining about the inhumanity of an increasingly tight calendar and with fewer free dates, was to approve in 2017 that the World Cup for national teams from thirty-two participants to forty-eight: twelve groups of four teams each in which the first two would qualify, adding to them the eight best third parties and, from there and as always, round of 32, quarterfinals, semifinals and final . FIFA’s response to the protests (it is true that they were low-key and not to bother) from the clubs due to a bleak panorama and with more injuries every day that passed consisted of reforming the Club World Cup that, from 2025, will have thirty-two participants and will be held over a month in the United States: eight groups of four teams each in which the first two would qualify for the round of 16, then the quarterfinals, semifinals and final. The response of FIFA’s European sister, that is, UEFA, to the same complaints from the clubs was the creation of a new Champions League starting with the 2024-2025 season, which will also coincide with the new Club World Cup: There are no more thirty-two teams distributed into eight groups, now there will be thirty-six and they will all be part of the same classification. ¿They will play all against all? Well no, they will score points in the matches they play and whoever scores the most points will advance in the competition. Each team will play eight games, four at home and four away, and the top eight in the group will advance to the round of 16. This is how it is, in quick strokes and with thick strokes because the new Champions League is a real gibberish… of course with more games.
What this means is that the clubs, who provide the field, fans and players, are going one way, and FIFA and UEFA, who do not provide anything except themselves, and sometimes not even that, go in the completely opposite direction. . The clubs want to protect the artists, who are the footballers; and they want to protect them for the simple reason that any player today costs you thirty million euros but if you want to buy a star you have to prepare to put at least a hundred on the table. It is a tremendous investment from which, in the end, those who risk nothing benefit, fifos and uefos. OK, Eduardo Camavinga He was injured due to bad luck, yes, but he was injured while preparing for an exciting match between France and Gibraltar. Rennes made public the figures for Eduardo’s transfer to Real Madrid in 2021: between 40 and 45 million euros for an 18-year-old boy. Camavinga already had a great look at that time but it was a gamble, just like Vinicius or Rodrygo were before and Endrick will be later. It could have gone wrong but it went well and, a few days ago, he extended his contract until 2029. Clubs like Real Madrid, which do not have a State behind them to finance them, ignoring each and every one of the rules of financial fair play, They have to do a real juggling act to be able to compete with City or PSG, who shoot with other people’s powder, but now Madrid will lose Camavinga because it turns out that he has been injured with Dembélé preparing for an absurd match against Gibraltar.
I have been working as a sports journalist for thirty-six years and, from the first day to the last, I have been hearing about the famous unification of criteria arbitral and also that the clubs have to raise their voices because they are subject to FIFA and UEFA. Well, in the year 36, that is, in 2023, the new football is going in exactly the opposite direction to what I have been hearing since the late 1980s. The unification of criteria is becoming more and more unstitched with each passing day, no one knows why some hands are called and others are not and why sometimes the VAR intervenes and other times it does not. And, as far as the calendar is concerned, with each passing day the clubs are respected less and the footballers and, therefore, the fans are treated worse. The show suffers, the game is getting worse, the clubs charge more every day for less and football people are retiring. We all lose but Infantino and Ceferin win in the same way they won before Blatter and Platinum and, before them, Havelange and Johansson. All this, and I mean the degradation of the show, was able to be seen by someone who is far ahead of the rest, Florentine Perez, but the establishment has put all its effort into discrediting an idea that, although very poorly presented, was accurate in its diagnosis: football is dying, they are suffocating it with a pillow. And there will be no moving truck behind the coffin when we attend his funeral. He’s not going anywhere except to fill the pockets of the usual guys. And in another 36 years, right here, in this or another similar program, someone who will no longer be me will talk again about the calendar if there is still football as we understand it today, and will also refer to what is necessary that is that the clubs, finally, rebel… against Infantino’s great-nephew and Ceferin’s great-great-grandson.