European football clubs on Tuesday voiced strong opposition to talk of a winter World Cup and criticised the way world governing body FIFA has been handling changes in football.
"The time for monopolies is over. Football needs democracy and transparency," said European Club Association chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
"ECA members agree that all clubs must be meaningfully involved in all decisions affecting club football. Now is the time for change," Rummenigge, who is also chairman of Bayern Munich, added after the 136 member association's general assembly here.
In a statement, the ECA expressed "its concern on the way matters of such importance are managed by football's world governing body" and "its opposition" to the "disruption" of mooted changes to the international fixture list including a winter World Cup.
It pointed to the sudden discovery of a FIFA decision last October to add eight new dates to the international match list in 2011 to 2014 "without any consultation" or "precise reason", despite growing warnings about player exhaustion.
"ECA is supportive of national team football but also believes that player's exhaustion through the excessive number of games must be addressed as a top priority," it said in a statement. "Currently this is not the case."
The stance of powerful European clubs, which own many of the world's top international players, added to a wave of discontent with FIFA in the wake of the controversial race late last year to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.