G14 dispute prompts Fifa insurance investigation

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The Independent Online

Fifa has announced it will set up a working group to look at whether an insurance programme for players on international duty should be introduced.

Earlier this year, for the first time, Fifa set aside Sfr15m (£6.4m) in an insurance fund to compensate clubs if their players were injured at the World Cup. The latest step appears to be a further attempt to find a solution to the issue, which has been one of the key points of dispute between world football's governing body and G14, the grouping of 18 elite European clubs.

"It is in the very early stages," the Fifa spokesman Andreas Herren said. "Fifa set up a fund at the World Cup and, following that, a working group has been set up to have a look at whether something similar could be introduced more broadly ."

G14 is backing the Belgian club Charleroi, who are taking Fifa to the European Court of Justice after one of their players, Abdelmajid Oulmers, picked up a serious injury while playing for Morocco.

The Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, has made no secret of his dislike for G14 and earlier this year said he was "irritated" by the group. However, the Arsenal vice-chairman, David Dein, who was elected as the new chairman of G14 in October, recently said that he was confident a solution would be found regarding the issue of player compensation, and insisted that he was hoping to "build bridges with Uefa and Fifa".

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