Money-mad bosses will leave stars shattered with Nations League and World Cup

SOMETIMES football appears to be trying to eat itself from the top downwards.

Propelled by power and greed, men in positions of responsibility are trying to bite chunks out of the football year.

Money-mad bosses will leave stars shattered with Nations League and World CupReuters2 England celebrate after topping their group in the Uefa Nations League

Don’t be misled by the sudden charms of the Nations League.

The competition looks attractive to English supporters because our own team, competing with youthful verve and considerable skill, have reached the semi-finals.

The journey from humiliation against Iceland has been relatively short, much to the credit of boss Gareth Southgate.

And the Nations League is a decent idea, although squashed into such a format that England could have been relegated, promoted or at a standstill on the last day in their tiny division.

Money-mad bosses will leave stars shattered with Nations League and World CupReuters2 Fifa president Gianni Infantino wants the World Cup to include 48 teams

This emphasised the desperate struggle Uefa had trying to cram fixtures into a few tiny holes before the second half of the season.

It replaced a bunch of friendlies that had the merit of not seriously threatening players with long-term injuries, while also allowing them to be reintroduced to each other and to rehearse tactics.

If players are the worker bees then all sorts of menaces are flying around the honeypot.

Agents and their henchmen are the wasps, owners vary from benign to avaricious, while among others are too many pigs who want to fly.

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Take Fifa for starters, the name being synonymous with corruption, disruption and a craze for power.

The fixture list, already a traffic jam of cups, leagues, internationals, summer friendlies and other bric-a-brac, is enough to test the stamina of the fittest of players, without adding an extra treadmill.

Fifa’s latest brainwave is to increase the 2022 World Cup to 48 teams — and don’t kid yourselves this is to increase the popularity of football in global outposts.

No, it’s to make more money and to cement the congress votes of the delegates of, say, the Cayman Islands and New Caledonia, with regal jollies to the poshest hotels.

Incredibly, Fifa president Gianni Infantino appears to be serious in putting forward the proposal that a ridiculous venue should host a ridiculous competition in a desert. Camel races would be more appropriate.

Infantino's plan for a 48-team World Cup is just ridiculous

Karren Brady

Qatar is protesting that they won’t have enough hotels, so perhaps the local Bedouins would loan their tents.

Even plans to move fans to hotels in surrounding countries are snagged by the fact not many are on speaking terms with Qatar or, from what I hear, each other. Talk about castles in sand!

We haven’t even begun to mention the need for more stadiums, training camps, vehicles, volunteers, hospitals and drinking holes in a teetotal emirate.

All this and there is only four years to provide them all.

He’s an Infantino abroad, all right. He and his pals have another idea for us, too.

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