Top clubs protest FIFA’s intention to expand the Club World Cup.

Europe’s tops clubs have rejected FIFA’s proposal to launch a new Club World Cup in the summer of 2025.

Sportsmail reports that FIFA have been seeking approval to stage a 32-team competition in the United States.

The negotiations have taken place in Qatar over the last few weeks, but the clubs are refusing to endorse the proposals.

FIFA had been hoping to get the deal done at a meeting of the European Clubs Association, which represents the interests of the 220 leading European clubs, in Doha last Friday, but president Gianni Infantino pulled out at the last minute when it became clear his project would not be signed off.

In what was interpreted as an act of retribution FIFA then refused to sign a Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] with the ECA despite the fact that the current agreement expires on December 31.

The MoU is an agreement between FIFA and the clubs covering the international match calendar, player release dates and compensation paid to the clubs.

If a new deal is not signed in the interim clubs could theoretically refuse to release players to play for their countries during the next international break in March.

FIFA have been seeking to relaunch the Club World Cup for several years and a 24-team competition was planned to take place in China last year, only for it to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

UEFA are opposed to a concept they see as a threat to the primacy of the Champions League, although the clubs could be persuaded if it is sufficiently lucrative amid rumours of FIFA offering £150milllion in prize money.