FIFA President Gianni Infantino has admitted football’s governing body could soon allow multi-national leads to tackle the leading nations.
Concern has been sparked about how clubs in Europe’s major leagues hold a financial and competitive advantage over those less elite.
For the first time this season, all competitors in the knockout stages of the Champions League come from the top five leagues – Spain’s La Liga, the Premier League in England, Germany’s Bundesliga, Ligue 1 in France and Serie A of Italy.
“We need to be open to discussions,” Infantino told reporters, as cited by Reuters via ESPN.
“The Belgians and the Dutch have been discussing creating a Benelux league and these discussions have been going on for 20 years and we are always saying no, because we are based on national leagues.
“But maybe it helps? Maybe it is the only way out, maybe in Europe they have to think about this, maybe in Africa. I was proposing something like this for Africa. I think we have the duty to study these things then we will see where it goes.”
Not only are the Dutch and Belgian leagues discussing a merger, but there have been similar discussions between the leagues in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, along with their counterparts in Czech Republic and Slovakia, along with a Balkan league.
However, FIFA has long had a stance of opposing such moves but this is the clearest indication yet that those will be dropped in the near future.
“The Premier League is the most successful competition and congratulations to the Premier League because they created a fantastic competition and a great product as well,” Infantino said.
“Obviously, they want to remain the top for the next hundred years as well.
“And the others, they want to become the top. So can we do something to make the others better without taking away anything from those who are at the top and…[who] have a lot of merit for how football has developed in the world today?
“It's not about bringing anyone down. It's rather about bringing those who are today down a little bit further [up] and we are willing to discuss with everyone about everything. And then we will see.”