qatar.2022.logoFIFA said Friday it will pay more than $415 million for players who take part in the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, with most of the cash going to top European clubs.

The European Club Association said it will also get a bigger say on dates for internationals under the new accord with the global governing body which the ECA chief called a “milestone” for club power.

The accord could end European demands for compensation for changing the dates of the 2022 Qatar World Cup to November-December.

It was announced one day after FIFA fixed December 18 as the date of the 2022 World Cup final — at the height of the European season.

FIFA will hand over $209 million to clubs with players on duty for each of the next two World Cups, under the deal signed by FIFA president Sepp Blatter and ECA chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, chairman of Bayern Munich.

The figure is three times the $70 million paid out by FIFA to clubs after the 2014 World Cup.

As three quarters of the players at the Brazil tournament were under contract with European clubs, the payments went mainly to Europe.

“We are taking a huge step forward in promoting relations betwen FIFA and the clubs in a spirit of mutual and constructive cooperation,” said Blatter in a statement announcing the accord which lifts another obstacle to a smooth World Cup in Qatar.

Blatter had at first rejected demands for compensation made by the ECA after a FIFA working group called for the Qatar World Cup to be moved to the winter months because of the scorching summer temperatures in the Gulf state.

But Blatter and Rummenigge have since held talks on increasing the payments for players called on World Cup duty.

– Club power ‘milestone’ –

“In serious and fair negotiations, the ECA has agreed with FIFA on a transparent economic and organisational cooperation until 2022,” Rummenigge commented.

“For the first time, the European clubs will have a direct say on the international match calendar, which was very important to me personally.

“As a result, the ECA will be actively involved and contribute constructively to the design of the calendar, especially for 2022.”

Rummenigge said the FIFA payments “will benefit clubs from around the world who release World Cup players to their respective national associations.

“From an ECA perspective, this agreement is a great achievement. It marks another milestone for clubfootball as a whole,” said the ECA boss.

A top FIFA executive member who has been a critic of the Qatar World Cup said that everyone must get on with making the event a success.

Jim Boyce, Britain’s FIFA vice president, said the 2022 World Cup would be a one-off winter tournament.

“It’s one year out of the calendar and I think if everyone works together for one year we can work it out to make sure everyone is satisfied,” Boyce told reporters on the sidelines of a FIFA executive committee meeting.

“There is always going to be someone who will complain,” said Boyce who has in the past said there should be a revote for the 2022 World Cup if corruption claims were proved and who spoke strongly against a summer World Cup in the Gulf state.

Boyce said there were clear benefits for a winter World Cup.

“All the spectators who are going to Qatar will have a wonderful time from a climate point of view.

“And the players could be fresher than they have ever been for a World Cup — so let’s get on with it,” declared the FIFA vice president. –¬†Agence France-Presse

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