FIFA President Gianni Infantino has promised “decisions by the end of the year” on the controversial proposal to host a World Cup every two years.
The plan, backed by former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who is now development director at world football’s governing body FIFA, would be part of a broad reshuffle to eliminate what Infantino has called “too many meaningless matches”.
“We need to have a system that is simple and clear, that everyone understands, that clearly defines when there are national team matches and when there are club matches ,” he said in a statement. interview with SNTV made available to AFP by FIFA.
🗣 "There are too many meaningless matches."
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said that the international calendar needs examination and there are too many 'meaningless matches' 🗓 pic.twitter.com/ZhkwOwKtDc
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) September 8, 2021
With the existing international match schedule ending in 2024, “we have to make decisions by the end of this year,” he said.
“We are and we will approach you and we hope to find something that suits, of course, European clubs but also clubs around the world, associations around the world,” he added.
In this sense, FIFA gave the green light to a study on the organization of World Cups every two years at its congress in May, following a proposal from Saudi Arabia, which has closely aligned with Infantino.
“This is what we are doing: studying the calendar, consulting everyone, starting of course with the protagonists of football, the main players in football – the players, the coaches,” Infantino told Sky Sports.
A decision that does not seem to be unanimous. Indeed, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has reiterated his opposition to holding the FIFA World Cup every two years, saying it “dilutes” the quality of the tournament.
“Holding it every two years will reduce legitimacy and dilute the World Cup itself. We believe there is space for everything and national teams and clubs fully occupy this physical and commercial space,” said Ceferin.
The controversial plans have been backed by the African Football Confederation and several countries in Asia, while the South American Football Confederation has asked FIFA to host its flagship event every two years starting in 2018.