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Real Madrid support FIFA's plan for new, expanded Club World Cup

Martin Ainstein's tour of World Cup host cities arrives at Sochi's Fisht Stadium, which will host six World Cup matches this summer.

MADRID -- Reigning champion Real Madrid are supporting proposed plans to expand the Club World Cup to 24 teams following a meeting at FIFA.

Madrid are part of the European Club Association (ECA), which has voiced concerns about FIFA President Gianni Infantino's proposals for a quadrennial Club World Cup to replace the annual tournament and pushed for players to get more mandatory rest periods.

Europe's top domestic competitions, including the Premier League and La Liga, have also opposed FIFA's plans.

But Madrid, winner of the past two editions of the Club World Cup, are endorsing Infantino's vision of the tournament being played every four years in June or July with 12 representatives from Europe.

Madrid's director of institutional relations, Emilio Butragueno, believes fans would prefer the new tournament over the current seven-team format.

"We honestly believe it could be an attractive competition," he said. "We see it that way as do other important clubs in Europe, who see the possibility favourably."

A FIFA briefing document on the project said clubs would share prize money totaling 75 percent of at least $3 billion revenue from each Club World Cup edition which would be guaranteed by a consortium of investors.

The 2017 edition in the United Arab Emirates earned $37 million in revenue for FIFA, with Madrid the European representative alongside the other continental champions and the host nation's league winner.

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