The blueprint for Europe, drawn up by the continent's top clubs and Uefa this week, was all but torn up last night when the world governing body, Fifa, announced total opposition to the plan, writes Guy Hodgson.
The Fifa president, Joao Havelange, said in Neuchatel, Switzerland, he was strongly against European federation's intentions to expand its club competitions to give more places to teams from leading nations. "Fifa is here to work for all in football," he said.
The plan to give extra places in te Champions' League, European Cup-Winners' Cup and Uefa Cup to eight leading nations, was devised by Uefa on Wednesday to head off a possible breakaway. Uefa's selection criteria would include European as well as domestic records.
At an impromptu press conference yesterday, the governing body moved to kill the plan at birth. Sepp Blatter, the general secretary, endorsed Havelange's opposition, saying Fifa were prepared to take steps at their congress in July to guarantee equal treatment to all.
" is founded on a pyramid," he said. "If the edifice is in danger of collapse, we won't be able to achieve our aims. There will be two laws: one for the rich and one for the poor."
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