GOAL has what you need to know about the possibility of making the World Cup a tournament that happens every two years instead of four
With that in mind, the idea of the World Cup happening more frequently than every four years seems tempting at first – but can too much of a good thing be a problem?
Goal He has what you need to know about FIFA’s plans to deliver the World Cup every two years and beyond.
What is the World Cup every two years?
The biennial World Cup is a tournament held every two years.
Will the World Cup be held every two years?
Infantino suggested that the format of the World Cup could be changed so that it will be held every two years, instead of the usual four years.
Infantino’s comments led to criticism from various figures in the world of football, as well as from fans, that the issue of player fatigue – an already ongoing problem – would only get worse.
“In Europe there is resistance because there is a World Cup every week with the leagues and the best players in the world, but that is not the case for the rest of the world: it is a month a year, and we need to find a way to get the whole world involved in football,” Infantino said.
The FIFA President also stated that the results of the study on participation showed that they would be in favor of the World Cup once every two years.
Infantino also insisted that this proposal was not his, but FIFA’s proposal: “[It] Not my idea but FIFA’s idea – and 166 countries have requested a feasibility study.”
“The assumptions are clear: 88 per cent of countries, including the majority of those in Europe, asked for the study and the study tells us that from a sporting point of view, the World Cup will be successful every two years. There will be fewer international matches but more impact.”
He went on to say that at the “global summit” of national football leaders earlier this month, he had the idea that there would be enough votes to push for a more frequent World Cup.
It faced opposition from European clubs, major leagues and UEFA, whose president Aleksander Ceferin threatened to boycott any further competition.
Why does FIFA want the World Cup to be held every two years instead of four?
FIFA would see a huge financial benefit from hosting the World Cup more frequently, with Infantino stating that the switch would inject 3.3 billion pounds ($4.4 billion) in revenue to the world organization, leading to an increase of nearly 60%.
The likes of UEFA and major European clubs are opposed to the proposal as it would force a drastic change to the current match schedule, as a repeat of the World Cup would obviously mean more international matches (qualifiers and tournaments), thus putting the domestic match schedule in jeopardy.
The fixture schedule is already packed as it is, and the turmoil due to the Covid-19 suspension has only made matters worse.
In addition, more matches will put more pressure on the athletes, with some already having to play several times a week in both domestic, cup and European tournaments – not to mention having to play in the next World Cup qualifiers in Qatar.
What did UEFA say?
The proposal to hold the World Cup every two years instead of four was met with opposition and criticism. UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has threatened to boycott the tournament, while Premier League clubs voted unanimously against the idea.
Richard Masters, chief executive of the Premier League, said: “The Premier League is committed to preventing any drastic changes to the FIFA international match schedule beyond 2024 that would negatively affect the well-being of players and threaten the competitiveness, calendar, structures and traditions of domestic football.”
“We are open to reforms and new ideas, but they must promote a complementary balance between domestic and international football in order to improve the game at all levels.
“This process should also include meaningful agreements with the associations that provide the foundations for the game.
“We will continue to work with supporting groups, players and local and international stakeholders to find solutions that serve football’s long-term interests.”