- Gianni Infantino talks to European football leaders about FIFA’s World Cup plan
- He again tried to convince others about the plan to hold the World Cup every two years.
- Infantino expects different teams to play in each tournament
- Countries may be banned from playing in back-to-back biennial competitions
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has sparked further fury with his biennial World Cup plans, insisting that countries could be banned from playing in back-to-back tournaments.
The controversial idea of hosting the tournament every two years, first raised by Arsene Wenger, made headlines around the world, and was widely condemned.
Infantino is on a PR overdrive attempting to convince people of the plans, but his latest comments have done little to appease fans.
Gianni Infantino is doing his best to convince people about the biennial World Cup plans
FIFA wants to hold the World Cup every two years – but unreliable could ban countries from competing in back-to-back tournaments
Portuguese Federation Secretary General Tiago Craveiro proposed that FIFA explore the possibility of not allowing teams to compete in consecutive editions when going ahead with the biennial World Cup.
“I also welcome Thiago’s idea, well, we need more involvement and maybe there is a way to do that by having two World Cups, but not with the same number of teams participating,” Infantino said.
‘I do not know. This is something that technical people will study, but it is definitely something that we have to look into. And the fact that we want more games for more teams, more meaningful games for more teams around the world, is also something that should be part of our reflection.’
The FIFA president was speaking during a meeting closed to the media on Tuesday, where UEFA member associations also voiced their opposition to his plan to double the frequency of the World Cup. A copy of the recording was obtained by The Associated Press.
Infantino was also challenged by the presidents of national associations, which would cause damage to not only club competitions but also national teams if FIFA fundamentally changed the international game despite European opposition.
But Infantino insisted on reshaping world football as necessary to secure the future of the sport.
Infantino faced criticism in recent talks with various European football federations
Arsene Wenger (above) is bidding for the football tournament to be held biennially
“I also agree that the enemy of football is not the World Cup or FIFA, but other activities that today’s young boys and young girls are running,” Infantino said in the concluding remarks of the meeting, which lasted more than an hour. Huh. .
‘And we need to see how we can jointly and together get them back to be interested in football. And as far as I am concerned, we want to do it all together as we have always done over the years.’
Infantino did not specify what those “other activities” were. He did not respond to a phone call from the AP seeking comment and had no immediate comment expanding on FIFA’s comment.
Keeping young audiences interested in watching 90-minute matches has become a challenge, especially with the rise of gaming. Infantino’s comments come amid a dispute with EA Sports, the maker of the FIFA video game, over the future of the product, but FIFA still embraces e-sports.
The International Olympic Committee also denounced FIFA’s attempt to redraw the calendar over the weekend, which could result in a men’s or women’s World Cup each year.
With the recent introduction of skateboarding at the Tokyo Olympics and the introduction of break dance sport at the 2024 Paris Games, the IOC has begun to embrace sports seen as more attractive to youth.
FIFA’s plans could have a significant impact on the Olympics where women’s football competition has no age restrictions, unlike the men’s event. “I believe we can still find ways to develop football further,” Infantino said in a meeting with UEFA.
‘The World Cup is huge. It’s a big, big competition that everyone benefits from the World Cup and we need to be very careful in what we do with the World Cup.’
The leaders of the Finnish, Italian, German, Portuguese, Romanian, Scottish, Spanish and Swiss confederations told Infantino that they wanted the World Cup to continue every four years.
Infantino says plans to get young people back into football in a world dominated by esports
They cited potential damage to the growing profile of the women’s game due to more frequent tournaments on player welfare, the loss of only one block of qualifiers in October and November, and more men’s competitions.
“If anyone is harmed, we will not go ahead with any proposal,” Infantino said in a virtual meeting with UEFA. But Infantino also said that it was not only the views of UEFA, which consists of 55 member associations, that counted.
Infantino is pushing for approval in December to hold the World Cup every two years. “We can’t just shape new proposals based on feedback from Europe,” he said. ‘We have to respect everyone’s opinion.’