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Monday, January 21, 2008
Soccer clubs to receive pay for use of players

NYON, Switzerland -- Soccer clubs sending players to the World Cup and European Championship will receive about $252 million in compensation over the next four years.

The agreement Monday was announced by UEFA president Michel Platini, ending a long-running dispute between major European clubs and the governing bodies of international and European soccer.

As part of the arrangement, the G-14 group of Europe's 18 most powerful clubs will drop their legal disputes with FIFA and UEFA, Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.

"From today the football family is reunited, thanks to Michel Platini," said Rummenigge, who was representing the newly formed European Club Association that will include the 103 highest-ranked teams in European soccer.

FIFA will pay clubs whose players take part in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa $110 million. UEFA will pay clubs $63 million for the 2008 European Championship and $79 million for the 2012 tournament.

"Clubs who provide UEFA and FIFA with certain amounts of money through these players should get some compensation and share in these profits," Platini said after the meeting at UEFA's headquarters.

The money will benefit all clubs that a player belonged to during the previous two years, meaning smaller clubs will benefit from the arrangement as well, he said.

Had the payments been made during the 2006 World Cup, more than 300 clubs would have received payments, Platini said.

The deal also means that the G-14, which was founded in 1999 by clubs dissatisfied that they did not have enough say in the organization of international tournaments, will be dissolved when it next meets Feb. 15.

"It's a historic day that will benefit football in general and certainly club football in Europe," Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon said.

In another decision, weekday international game will be moved from Wednesday to Tuesday to allow players more time to recuperate before league matches the following weekend.

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