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Rummenigge: Europe’s big clubs may revolt against FIFA

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The expanded World Cup isn’t being well received.

FC Bayern Muenchen And SAP Unveil Partnership Photo by Lennart Preiss/Getty Images

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has never been shy about voicing his opinion in public interviews. Plus, as the Chairman of Bayern Munich and the European Club Association, every time Rummenigge speaks, the world listens. Now, in an interview with Bild, Rummenigge sets his sights on FIFA.

“The big clubs and the leagues, too, will perhaps ask themselves at some point: 'do we really need FIFA and its curious decisions, which at the end of the day only burden soccer - and do not serve soccer’,” Rummenigge said.

This all relates back to the recent unanimous decision at FIFA to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams starting with the 2026 World Cup. However, Rummenigge did not stop there.

“I'm of the same opinion as Christian Seifert, who said that we are heading for a revolution when we continue on this path,” Rummenigge continued. “In principle, I'm no friend of revolution, because they usually end with bloodshed. I fear, though, that things are inexorably heading toward a revolution.”

What kind of revolution are we potentially facing? The ECA’s current deal with FIFA to release players for international matches will expire following the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The ECA could, at that point, decide to stop releasing players for international matches or, as the Bild journalist speculates, the ECA could leave FIFA completely.