Wednesday, 8 September 2021

World Leagues Forum against biennial World Cup

 Football cannot let Fifa turn the World Cup into a "commonplace event purely to serve their short-term interests," says the World Leagues Forum.

World football's governing body is holding a feasibility study into a biennial men's and women's tournament.

But the WLF, the association of professional football leagues, has echoed Uefa in rejecting the idea.

They say it would "dilute the historical and traditional values" of the World Cup.

"A biennial World Cup would negatively disrupt the football economy and undermine players' welfare in a calendar that is already overloaded," read the World Leagues Forum's statement.

"As the employers of players and developers of the game at domestic level, leagues request full and transparent discussions so that the football calendar - which requires a complementary balance between club matches and national teams - can be agreed upon by all parties involved to benefit the game at all levels over the long term.

"Working together with all football stakeholders, the World Leagues Forum will ensure Fifa is not allowed to make unilateral decisions on the future of football against the interests of leagues, clubs, players and fans."

The men's World Cup has been held every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 because of World War Two.

The women's tournament has also been every four years since it began in 1991.

The consultation process around holding it every two years is being led by former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who is now chief of global football development at Fifa.

Speaking at the General Assembly of the European Clubs' Association in Geneva earlier this week, Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin said holding the World Cup every two years would "lead to more randomisation, less legitimacy and unfortunately, dilute the World Cup itself".

While Ceferin was dismissive of the idea, England manager Gareth Southgate said he was "open-minded" to Fifa's proposals, saying the football calendar "generally needs to be tidied up".

Having spoken to Wenger, Southgate is open to the possibility of changes, but insisted any schedule changes must not lead to further increasing the players' workload.

source here

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