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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 March, 2004, 16:25 GMT
Giants to skip Fifa event
Fifa President Sepp Blatter
Europe's most powerful clubs have vowed to boycott Fifa's World Club Championship next year.

The G-14, which includes Arsenal and Manchester United, voted against participating in the resurrected event.

"We're satisfied with the current competitions and have no wish to fill the schedules even more," said Bayern Munich chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

The G-14 also decided to press ahead with its demand for compensation for releasing players for national teams.

Fifa first held the World Club Championship in 2000 when it was won by Brazilian club Corinthians.

The second tournament was scheduled for Spain the following year, but was cancelled following the collapse of Fifa's marketing partner ISL.

Fifa intends to resurrect the competition between clubs from six continents, but the G-14 said its members already had enough matches to play.

We refuse to play the World Championship and our decision is final
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
Rummenigge added: "No club from the G-14 will participate in this Fifa competition. We refuse to play the World Championship and our decision is final."

The reorganised tournament will be a six-team competition.

The champions of Africa, Asia, Concacaf and Oceania would play in a first-round knockout, with the two winners then meeting the top European and South American clubs.

The new tournament could swallow up the long established Intercontinental Cup between the European and South American champions.

The G-14 unanimously agreed to press ahead with its demand for financial compensation from Fifa and Uefa for releasing players for national team duty.

Clubs said they were considering taking legal action as the rules of the soccer's governing bodies represented unfair competition.

Fifa chief Sepp Blatter recently said he would not negotiate with the G-14 as it has no official standing within the soccer institutions.

The G-14 association, which was formed in 1998 as a loose grouping, became an association in 2001.

It originally consisted of 14 clubs - Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Liverpool, Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Marseille, Paris St Germain, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and FC Porto.

Last year, it expanded to 18 by adding Valencia, Arsenal, Bayer Leverkusen and Olympique Lyon.

Valencia's president Jaime Orti said the next G-14 meeting would be held in Brussels on 2 June.




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