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FIFA criticized for style

GENEVA (AP) ― FIFA has come under further criticism, with European leagues upset by the way the governing body runs soccer.

The European Professional Football Leagues said Friday that FIFA makes unilateral decisions and appears to interfere in the business of its members. The 30-league group wchoed the European Club Association’s warning Tuesday that it is losing patience with FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s organization.

“The EPFL therefore invites FIFA to reconsider its decision-making process and enhance participative democracy,” the leagues said in a statement.

Europe’s leagues and clubs are unhappy that FIFA leaders publicly debated switching the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to a winter slot, potentially causing chaos for the European club season.

They were only partly placated by Blatter’s assurance Monday that the 2022 debate was “settled” in favor of a traditional summer slot.

Following a board meeting in Madrid, the leagues’ group said it “cannot avoid expressing its dissatisfaction with the way such a significant matter was dealt with.”

The Qatar situation also stirred up feelings about FIFA’s management of the international calendar, which dictates when clubs must release their players for national team duty.

The leagues and clubs both pointed out this week that FIFA’s executive committee added eight international match dates to the 2011-2014 calendar last year without consulting them.

FIFA did not announce the changes in its official news release following a June 6-7 meeting in Johannesburg, and instead informed national federations in a circular letter two weeks later.
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