for Noël Le Graët, “at UEFA, it’s a bit of a blessing-yes-yes”

Noël Le Graët, in June.

Almost 80 years old, Noël Le Graët does not intend to let his behavior dictate. The only European leader not to have spoken out against the project carried by the International Football Federation (FIFA) to set up a World Cup every two years, the president of the French Football Federation (FFF) welcomes on Thursday December 2, in Paris, his Slovenian counterpart from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Aleksander Ceferin, in an electric context.

While UEFA is fiercely opposed to the reform desired by FIFA, Mr. Ceferin’s entourage ensures that this meeting must serve to “Understand the position of Mr. Le Graët”. The majority of representatives of the 55 national federations that are members of UEFA hardly hide their irritation since the boss of the FFF publicly admitted this fall that he was not opposed to the project initiated by the president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino.

Read the blog post: FIFA World Cup every two years: hell is paved with bad intentions

“I am very favorable to the project with regard to women, confirm to World Mr. Le Graët. For the boys, I philosophically adhere to the project carried by Mr. Infantino: there are many lucrative competitions in Europe and the competitions must be distributed more equitably between the continents, in particular with Africa. I am not a dissident by nature even though I am the only one in Europe to hold this position. At UEFA, it’s a bit of a yes-yes, there was no real reflection. ”

Before meeting the UEFA president, Mr. Le Graët considers that he is not ” angry “ with Mr. Ceferin and that there should be no “War between UEFA and FIFA, at the moment there are only words”.

“I am waiting for FIFA to present a complete, credible and viable financial plan to take a decision”, explains Mr. Le Graët while a study commissioned by UEFA in October estimated the potential losses for the European federations at 3 billion euros if the FIFA project were to be approved.

“Everyone must find their account”

“It’s very clear: if the FIFA project is not economically credible, I will tell Gianni [Infantino]: “Withdraw your project”. If the FFF loses financially, I will have no reason to vote for this project, he develops. It is necessary, as Gianni announced, that everyone finds their account in this new system, that there is more money, that the chains buy the rights of the matches. “

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers World Cup every two years: up to 3 billion euros in losses for European federations, according to UEFA

Will FIFA communicate this study on the financial impact of the project before the world summit organized by videoconference on December 20? “The work on the financial evaluation is in progress”, FIFA answers.

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