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Real Madrid reject FIFA Club World Cup invitation, other clubs expected to join boycott

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has announced the club will boycott the FIFA Club World Cup due to a lack of financial incentives.

The 65-year-old, speaking on his birthday, declared that Los Blancos won’t participate in the inaugural edition of FIFA’s expanded Club World Cup in the United States next summer.

The revamped Club World Cup features 32 teams from across the globe. This new system is FIFA’s attempt to mirror continental tournaments such as the Champions League.

However, Ancelotti claims the financial rewards for participation don’t justify the disruption to the club’s schedule.

“One Real Madrid game is worth €20 million,” Ancelotti remarked in an interview with Italian daily Il Giornale.

“And FIFA wants to give us that amount for the entire competition? Negative. Just like us, other clubs will refuse the invitation.”

Ancelotti’s stance reflects broader concerns from European clubs regarding player workload and congested schedules.

The new format features a notable increase in participating teams from the previous seven-team edition. It has drawn criticism from domestic leagues and player unions.

However, FIFA president Gianni Infantino has downplayed these concerns, arguing that FIFA-organised matches make up a small percentage of a club’s total fixtures.

Ancelotti’s comments raise questions about the potential participation of other European giants.

Time will tell if FIFA can address these financial concerns and ensure a successful launch for their flagship club competition.

Meanwhile, La Liga has received a landmark ruling in a racism case, securing convictions and jail terms for three Valencia fans who racially abused Madrid attacker Vinicius Junior in May 2023.

This is the first conviction in Spain for racist abuse at a football match. The three perpetrators will spend eight months in prison and must pay the costs of the legal proceedings.

They have also been banned from entering any football stadium for La Liga or the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) matches for two years.

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