Budapest, Hungary - ECA Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaïfi and FIFA President Gianni Infantino have today signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding between FIFA and ECA at the 29th ECA General Assembly in Budapest, Hungary.
The new, long-term agreement reinforces the relationship between FIFA, as the governing body of football worldwide and ECA, as the sole body representing the interests of European clubs. It will enable ECA and FIFA to build on their close collaboration, which has existed since the birth of ECA 15 years ago, now with a new term until 31 December 2030, bringing long-term stability to the national team and club game.
The MoU expands and deepens the existing collaboration between ECA and FIFA on matters of critical importance to the men’s and women’s club game, including the calendar, the release of players to national teams, the Club Benefits Programme affording clubs a share of national team competition revenues in return for releasing players, and the insurance programme which protects clubs in the event of injury to players whilst on national team duty.
The Club Benefits Programme, for example, which has historically compensated all clubs who release players for the men’s World Cup and was a key achievement of the previous MoU, will now increase from $209 million for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup final tournaments to $355 million for the 2026 and 2030 tournaments.
ECA now has its strongest ever mandate to promote European clubs' interests at the global level and develop a more collaborative working relationship.
ECA Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaïfi said: “We are delighted to have signed this landmark agreement. The MoU recognises the central role of clubs in football globally and ensures that they are properly represented in decision making around issues which affect them.
“FIFA and ECA will also now establish closer working practices on a future new Club World Cup, including finalising the sporting and commercial aspects for the 2025 edition, and working together on future editions including on potential structures for managing the commercial rights going forward.
“We look forward to working closely with FIFA over the coming months and years to ensure that the benefits of new and expanded competitions in both men’s and women’s football are properly shared across the ecosystem.”
FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: “This is a significant day for the future of football and its long-term stability. We are very happy to renew and strengthen our cooperation agreement with ECA, an important stakeholder representing clubs from all over Europe.
“To have the new International Match Calendar endorsed by ECA provides the necessary balance between club and national team football. We have exciting projects ahead, including the new FIFA Club World Cup in 2025 and the new FIFA Women`s Club World Cup. A close collaboration with clubs in Europe, and the rest of the world, will be essential for the success of those events.”