UEFA has “serious concerns” about the hosting of the World Cup every two years, said President Aleksander Ceferin.
The idea of making the tournament a biennial event has gained traction since it was first raised at a FIFA congress in May and the governing body is carrying out a feasibility study.
But Ceferin is upset by FIFA’s lack of consultation with UEFA and the impact such a move would have.
What was said?
Ceferin expressed his concerns in response to a letter from Football Supporters Europe, writing to executive director Ronan Evain: “UEFA and its national associations also have serious reservations and concerns regarding the information on FIFA’s plans.
“Given the major impact this reform can have on the entire football organization, there is widespread astonishment that FIFA appears to be launching a public relations campaign to push its proposal forward when such proposals have not been presented to confederations, national associations, leagues, clubs, players, coaches, clubs and the entire football community.
“As one concrete example among many, it is imperative to highlight the concerns shared in the football world regarding the impact that a biennial FIFA World Cup would have on the international match calendar and, in particularly in this context, on women’s football. “
He added: “Your letter, and the concerns it raises on behalf of supporters across Europe regarding FIFA’s potential plans to host the FIFA World Cup every two years, are extremely valid and important. .
“Let me assure you that UEFA is with you and the fans on this important issue. We must work together to defend the interests of the game and strengthen the position of the fans as key stakeholders.”
Why does FIFA want a World Cup every two years?
FIFA members approved launching a feasibility study on hosting the World Cup every two years instead of four after the proposal was submitted by the Saudi Football Federation.
President Gianni Infantino suggested he was in favor of the change after the FIFA congress in May, telling a press conference: “You don’t have to be an Einstein to know that if you are organizing the World Cup every two years, you double the income.
“We have to undertake these studies with an open mind. We know the value of the World Cup and the impact of the World Cup.”
The plan is also backed by ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who is currently FIFA’s head of world football development.
The Frenchman said in July that this would result in fewer international breaks during the season and reduce the risk of injury for players.
Wenger denies that there is any financial incentive behind the idea, The team this week: “The principle would be a grouping of qualifications each year, and at the end of the season a major competition, World Cup or continental championship.
“The idea is really to improve the level of play and the competitions, there is no financial incentive behind it, especially since FIFA redistributes the money to all the federations of the world to develop football in their country.”