Saturday, June 02, 2007

G14 threatens to expand to Asia, Africa, Americas

The President of the G14 group of leading European football clubs has rejected criticism from football's world and European governing bodies and said he will press on with plans to create a global federation of 40 or more clubs. Jean-Michel Aulas, who is also chairman of French champions Olympique Lyon, said he was surprised at the calls from UEFA President Michel Platini and FIFA President Joseph S Blatter for the G14 to disband.

"This federation will be a constructive force towards FIFA and UEFA," Aulas was quoted as saying in an interview with French daily Le Monde. "Membership of the federation will be based on UEFA's club rankings," he said. The G14, which comprises 18 of the most powerful soccer clubs in Europe, is due to meet in Paris later this month to hammer out details of its planned federation, Le Monde said. The aim was to expand the federation from 2008 to include clubs in Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Platini said on Monday he would like to see UEFA's newly-created Professional Football Strategy Council become the forum for the sport to settle its quarrels and called on the G14 to disband - sentiments echoed by Blatter. "We will of course meet Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter," Aulas was quoted as saying.

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