FIFA to pay clubs £290m for sending players to 2026 World Cup

FIFA will pay clubs $355million [£290m] for releasing players for the 2026 World Cup – an enormous 75 per cent increase from Qatar last year.

Under the Club Benefits Programme, introduced at the 2010 South Africa World Cup, FIFA compensates clubs around the world for each day their players are away at the tournament.

Manchester City profited most of any club from the 2022 World Cup, receiving £4.5m of the £169m [$209m] pot FIFA distributed.

But those sums are set to skyrocket after FIFA and the European Club Association [ECA] renewed their Memorandum of Understanding through until December 31, 2030 at a summit in Budapest.

A FIFA statement released on Monday afternoon read: ‘The Club Benefits Programme, which compensates all clubs who release players for the men’s World Cup, will now increase from $209 million for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup to $355 million for the 2026 and 2030 tournaments.’

On the new agreement with the ECA, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: ‘This is a significant day for the future of football and its long-term stability. We are very happy to renew and strengthen our cooperation agreement with ECA, an important stakeholder representing clubs from all over Europe.’

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