Thursday, October 21

UEFA carries the flag of resistance to the biennial World Cup plans

Live broadcast of the World Cup qualifiers

What was said when UEFA cited ‘serious concerns’ for the biennial World Cup

The following is UEFA’s press release on the growing movement to establish a biennial World Cup amid an already congested football calendar through talkSPORT.

UEFA is disappointed with the methodology adopted, which has so far led to radical reform projects being openly communicated and promoted before they, along with other stakeholders, have been given the opportunity to participate in any consultation meetings.

There are real dangers associated with this plan:

  • the dilution of the value of the first world soccer event, whose four-year duration gives it a mystique with which generations of fans have grown;
  • the erosion of sporting opportunities for weaker national teams by replacing regular matches with final tournaments;
  • the risk to the sustainability of players, forced to participate in high intensity summer competitions every year instead of longer recovery breaks in alternate years;
  • the risk for the future of women’s tournaments, deprived of exclusive spaces and overshadowed by the proximity of the best men’s events.

These are just some of the serious concerns that FIFA’s proposal raises at first glance and cannot be dispelled simply with unsubstantiated promotional slogans about the supposed benefits of a denser schedule for the final tournaments. “

UEFA is of the view that the future of the international calendar should be the subject of genuine consultation and exchange between FIFA, the confederations and key competition stakeholders, starting with an open discussion on perceived issues and considering a number of solutions to 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. On 14 September, UEFA and its 55 member associations asked FIFA to organize a special meeting with them in order to express concerns about the impact of such plans. UEFA and its 55 member associations to date have not yet received a response from FIFA to this request.

Divide along the federation lines with respect to calendar renewal

Former Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger, FIFA’s head of world football development, is a leading proponent of establishing a biennial World Cup tournament. And while many UEFA league associations remain firmly against it, even with open criticism of the notion that players are treated like machines, there is a division among the FIFA federations when it comes to exploring the proposal in depth.

The two strongest federations in FIFA, UEFA and CONMEBOL, remain firmly entrenched against any plans to move forward, but both CONCACAF and AFC “continue to consider these proposals constructively, with an open mind and in a spirit of positive engagement.” .

UEFA stands firm against proposed plans for the biennial World Cup citing 'serious concerns'

El Salvadors players pose before their Central American qualifying soccer match against Saint Kitts and Nevis for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup at the Cuscatlán stadium in San Salvador on June 15, 2021 (Photo by Marvin Recinos / AFP) (Photo by MARVIN RECINOS / AFP via Getty Images)

With Qatar 2022 in the not-too-distant future, the divide between the future of international football and its far-reaching effects on the club side of the game looks set to continue.

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