FIFA cancels planned council meeting in Asuncion

FIFA (Getty Images)
FIFA (Getty Images)

Lausanne - A FIFA Council meeting set to take place in the Paraguayan capital Asuncion in March has been cancelled, world football's governing body said on Tuesday.

In a statement, FIFA said the meeting had been cancelled "at the request of several of its members" and announced that it would be replaced by a video conference from the organisation's headquarters in Zurich on March 20.

According to several sources, some Asian members of the council had raised concerns about their ability to travel to the meeting due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The cancellation also comes in an ongoing climate of tension between FIFA and South American ruling body CONMEBOL, which is based in Asuncion and presided over by the Paraguayan Alejandro Dominguez, also a FIFA vice-president.

Last week CONMEBOL and European governing body UEFA signed a co-operation agreement following a meeting in Nyon, Switzerland, which the latter said covered the organisation of competitions, among other things.

UEFA has been critical of FIFA president Gianni Infantino's plan for a 24-team Club World Cup in 2021 in China. FIFA approved the plan last March despite UEFA's opposition.

Meanwhile, according to sources, Dominguez was unhappy with Infantino talking directly with South American clubs about their participation.

Another FIFA Council meeting is planned to take place just before the FIFA Congress in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in early June.

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