SPORT: FIFA AND CLUBS WORK TO PREVENT ANOTHER EU COURT CASE ON FOOTBALL.

Position:International Association of Association Football
 
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The moves were confirmed in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on November 13 at the annual Soccerex convention, the last before the 2006 World Cup, drawing more than 2,000 professionals and 100 exhibitors from more than 75 countries. FIFA and European football authority UEFA are pitted against the elite G-14 group of richest clubs which believes clubs should get more recompense for releasing players for international duty.

The compensation issue has been a source of tension between clubs and national associations over many years. Clubs fear in particular that a proportion of their players will return home tired or injured, impairing their prospects in the leading domestic and European competitions, hence potentially reducing revenues. One player in the English Premiership recently even suffered a bout of malaria, thought to have been contracted while on international duty in Africa.

The issue has generated bitterness, with both sides accusing each other of greed. FIFA, with its generous broadcasting and sponsorship contracts, is said to be unfairly demanding that players perform freely at top money-making events like the World Cup. In turn, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said in October that super-rich clubs with "pornographic amounts of money" were ruining football, and he set up a task force to deal with the excesses, including corruption and multiple-ownership issues. UEFA President Lennart Johansson has also criticised "greedy"...

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