FIFA discusses plans for biannual World Cups with football associations next week

FIFA holds online summit with national football associations next week to discuss their controversial plans for the World Cup to be played every two years

  • FIFA is in favor of making the World Cup a biennial tournament in the future
  • Football executives have expressed concern over FIFA’s plans
  • There will be an online summit next week to discuss the plans for the competition
  • They will also discuss plans for the international calendars for men and women


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FIFA will hold an online summit next week with football associations from around the world to discuss plans for the international men’s and women’s calendars, including biennial World Cups.

The world board is in favor of narrowing the gap between its flagship men and women from four to two years, and the September 30 summit will mark what FIFA calls a new phase in its consultation process, which will also look more broadly at international pauses and rest periods.

Aleksander Ceferin, president of the European football association UEFA, has expressed “serious concern” about the plans, and members of the confederation called for an urgent summit with FIFA last week.

FIFA holds an online summit to discuss plans to host the World Cup every two years

FIFA holds an online summit to discuss plans to host the World Cup every two years

On Monday, the Alliance of European Football Coaches’ Associations (AEFCA) wrote a letter to UEFA supporting its stance on biannual World Cups, which has been spotted by the PA news agency.

Group leader Walter Gagg and Secretary-General Jurgen Pforr said: “The FIFA proposal creates a significant workload for all parties involved, but the already tight schedule does not allow for this.

“This proposal to hold the World Cup every two years has a purely commercial background and is the follow-up to a whole series of unsuitable FIFA proposals in recent years.”

Arsene Wenger hopes to change the international calendar of world football in the future

Arsene Wenger hopes to change the international calendar of world football in the future

Arsene Wenger hopes to change the international calendar of world football in the future

The South American confederation CONMEBOL is also opposed to the plans, as is the European Leagues group which includes all of the continent’s major domestic leagues, including the Premier League.

The September 30 summit complements separate invitations sent out earlier this month by FIFA to stakeholders, including all confederations, the European Club Association, the World Leagues Forum and the global players’ union FIFPRO. It is intended to be the first opportunity for a ‘constructive and open debate’ on the proposals.

FIFA released the results of a fan poll last week, which showed that a majority of respondents were in favor of a change of frequency to the World Cup.

FIFA released fan poll results showing a majority of respondents are in favor of a change

FIFA released fan poll results showing a majority of respondents are in favor of a change

FIFA released fan poll results showing a majority of respondents are in favor of a change

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has expressed 'serious concerns' over the proposals

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has expressed 'serious concerns' over the proposals

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has expressed ‘serious concerns’ over the proposals

Most of that majority were in favor of a World Cup every two years. However, in each age group, the most popular choice in percentage terms was to maintain the status quo. The IRIS survey was commissioned by FIFA, but conducted independently by YouGov.

A tech advisory group reviewing the men’s calendar is headed by former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s head of global development. The women’s equivalent is led by former American coach Jill Ellis.

A FIFA statement on Monday morning read: “FIFA is committed to being a forum for meaningful debate by engaging with a wide range of stakeholders, including fans, and looks forward to discussions on the sustainable growth of football in all regions of the world, at all levels.’

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said he wants member associations to vote on the calendar changes before the end of the year.

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