- Associated Press - Friday, December 4, 2015

NYON, Switzerland (AP) - Europe’s top soccer clubs have criticized FIFA’s in-house efforts to reform, including plans for a 40-team World Cup.

The European Club Association says it was not told of FIFA’s wish to add eight teams at the 2026 World Cup. The 220-member group says “clubs are not prepared to be further ignored.”

The ECA says FIFA’s lack of consultation was “proof that the proposed reforms are not at the required standard allowing for a new and modern FIFA.”

The ECA, led by Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, says it suspected FIFA would mismanage the process of involving stakeholders in modernizing after its corruption crisis.

Tense relations had seemed repaired in March when FIFA agreed to pay clubs worldwide $209 million for releasing players to the 2018 World Cup.

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