UEFA slams FIFA biennial World Cup plans


UEFA slams FIFA for lack of proper consultation over biennial World Cup plans.

UEFA has slammed FIFA’s plans to host the World Cup every two years. The European football federation says FIFA’s plans pose “real dangers” that could affect all levels of football. According to them, FIFA and those proposing the plan have excluded stakeholders from discussions over the proposed schedule.

FIFA has put forward plans to host the world cup every two years, a radical deviation from the current four-year setup. The plan is led by former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and has a few people backing it.

But the idea has not gone down well with most continental footballing bodies, with UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin already stating that Europe could boycott the World Cup if the change goes ahead.

In a public statement released by UEFA on Wednesday, the European football’s governing body outlined the impact such changes could have on club football.

“UEFA is disappointed with the methodology adopted,” the statement read.

“which has so far led to radical reform projects being communicated and openly promoted before having been given, together with other stakeholders, the chance to participate in any consultation meeting.”

“There are real dangers associated with this plan: the dilution of the value of the #1 world football event, whose quadrennial occurrence gives it a mystique that generations of fans have grown up with.”

“The erosion of sporting opportunities for the weaker national teams by replacing regular matches with final tournaments; the risk to sustainability for players, forced to engage in summer high-intensity competitions every year instead of longer recuperation breaks in alternate years.”

“These are just some of the serious concerns that the FIFA proposal provokes at first glance, and they cannot be dispelled simply with unsubstantiated promotional slogans on the supposed benefits of a thicker calendar for final tournaments.”

“UEFA is of the opinion that the future of the international calendar should be the subject of genuine consultation and exchange between FIFA, the confederations and key stakeholders of competitions.”

“Kicking off with an open discussion on perceived problems and considering a range of solutions that will be identified in the course of the debate, taking into account the interest of the game and the legitimate point of view of the different parties.”

“In this phase, the respect for a consultation process with the stakeholders – which should be unbiased – would suggest abstaining from promotional campaigns of unilaterally pre-determined concepts that nobody has been given the possibility to see in detail and which have wide-ranging, often unexpected, effects.”

“On 14 September, UEFA and its 55 member associations asked FIFA to organise a special meeting with them to be able to voice their concerns on the impact of such plans. UEFA and its 55 member associations have to date not yet received a reply from FIFA on this request.”