FIFA says players who feature in any breakaway European Super League would be banned from playing in FIFA competitions, including the World Cup.

The idea of a breakaway league, as an alternative to UEFA’s flagship Champions League, has been floated for many years but speculation has intensified in the past two years.

Top European clubs such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester United and Juventus are spearheading the mooted tournament.

The world football announced the warning in a statement released on Wednesday.

“Any club or player involved in such a competition would as a consequence not be allowed to participate in any competition organised by FIFA or their respective confederation,” read the statement.

“As per the FIFA and confederations statutes, all competitions should be organised or recognised by the relevant body at their respective level, by FIFA at the global level and by the confederations at the continental level.

“In this respect, the confederations recognise the FIFA Club World Cup, in its current and new format, as the only worldwide club competition while FIFA recognises the club competitions organised by the confederations as the only club continental competitions.

“The universal principles of sporting merit, solidarity, promotion and relegation, and subsidiarity are the foundation of the football pyramid that ensures football’s global success and are, as such, enshrined in the FIFA and confederation statutes.

“Football has a long and successful history thanks to these principles. Participation in global and continental competitions should always be won on the pitch.”