FIFA will pull the plug on the doomed plan for a World Cup every two years.
Global chief Gianni Infantino has accepted defeat in the idea he had championed alongside Arsene Wenger.
Fifa chief Gianni Infantino and Arsene Wenger have accepted defeat in their plan to hold World Cups every two yearsCredit: EPA
Infantino had planned to use Thursday’s Congress of the 211 member associations to bring the matter to a head and hold a decisive vote.
But the worldwide backlash, led by European football, has forced Infantino into an embarrassing retreat.
It means there will not even be a discussion of the concept at Thursday’s meeting in Doha.
And even the back-up options, of a Global National League or expanded version of the ditched Confederations Cup, have now gone into cold storage.
Sometimes you can kill a bad idea.
EUROPE’S giants may have taken a kicking over the Super League debacle.
But the Prem Big Six helped earn a major victory over Uefa to confirm the controversial two “historical” places in the revamped Champions League from 2024-25.
Uefa had been keen to give more spaces to clubs from smaller nations, rather than agree to the planned “coefficient” spots when the new 36-team “Swiss model” competition launches.
But the powerful European Club Association, which readmitted the Prem six after they recanted on their Super League dalliance, has forced through the change.
The only ground given will be that a nation can have just one of the extra spots and that it must be the two highest-ranked sides who finished one place out of direct qualification.
That means “no leapfrogging” for sixth or seventh-placed Prem sides over the team finishing fifth.
If the system had been in place for next term, and the leagues finished as they are, it would have seen Spurs and Villarreal being elevated.
PORT VALE have not, in truth, pulled up that many trees over their alleged 146-year history.
But the Potteries club have completed a feat that nobody in English professional football can boast.
Vale’s 2-0 League Two win over Sutton on Saturday made them the ONLY club in the top four levels of the pyramid to have beaten ALL the other 91 in a league game.
And that is worth talking about.
FIFA’S World Cup finals draw is not the only major sporting event taking place in Doha this week.
The inaugural event of the rebel tournament featuring the world’s top player in the tennis and squash hybrid sport of Padel is also taking place in the Qatari capital.
With a prize fund of £437,000, the Qatar Masters is the first event of Premier Padel, backed by the International Padel Federation but which has broken away from the established World Padel Tour.
Money talks, indeed.
THE man who made snooker what it is will be back at the Crucible this month – and he has a story or two to tell.
Barry Hearn was the man who snooker, darts and boxing all box office in his remarkable career.
And he is set to let slip a few secrets in his autobiography, “Barry Hearn: My Life: Knockouts, Snookers, Bullseyes, Tight Lines and Sweet Deals”, which he will launch on his appearance in Sheffield for this year’s World Championships.
A MAJOR ruck between Spanish politicians could scupper ambitions for Barcelona and the Pyrenees region to host the 2020 Winter Olympics.
Spanish Olympic chiefs have proposed the majority of events should take place in Catalonia and Barcelona.
That left the Aragon region with only biathlon, curling, figure skating, speed skating and short track speed skating.
Aragon President Javier Lambon slammed the “unfair” plan, threatening to boycott talks with the national Olympic association and demanding a significant change.
But the row threatens to undermine the Spanish bid, which faces competition from three former Winter Games hosts, Sapporo in Japan, Salt Lake City and Vancouver.