FIFA Push For World Cup Finals Every Two Years
September 09, 2021
FIFA is proposing to host the World Cup finals every two years instead of every four years. Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s chief of global football development, is the man behind the idea. Some of the biggest and oldest names in football have been invited to Qatar to consult on this idea and share plans and strategies to execute it smoothly.
Wenger has invited some famous former England players and coaches to consult with him in Doha, among those are John Terry and Michael Owen.
The Footballing World’s Reaction
Some of the clubs and players in Western Europe are not so enthused by the idea, not to mention UEFA itself. UEFA is planning to directly oppose this decision and plans to vote against it when the time comes.
FIFA has 211 member associations and 166 of those have requested that a feasibility study gets carried out first. This decision came about after the first proposal was put forward in March this year by the Saudi Arabia Football Federation. The 211 members will be asked to vote before the year is over. If the end result is in favour of this decision then the World Cup finals will be set to occur every two years starting from the summer of 2028.
Where UEFA has the Champions League to provide a constant flow of revenue, the World Cup is FIFA’s bread and butter and is their largest source of income. It is no wonder they are in favour of this idea.
Comments From Southgate and Wenger
Wenger spoke to French newspaper L'Equipe last week and stated that this new plan does not mean that the players would necessarily have more games to play. They would also be receiving a minimum of 25 rest days each summer. This would allow the players to spend more time with their clubs due to the fact that there would be a maximum time frame of two qualifying match periods annually.
England’s boss Gareth Southgate has been in discussion with Wenger and said changing the format as proposed will be a strange concept for many football fans and players. In saying this, Southgate has also shared that he feels open minded to the proposals and that he thinks the whole calendar could do with a review. His intentions are to encourage quality over quantity, he wishes to invite better quality matches across the board.
Southgate didn’t wish to share his own opinion on the matter, but prefers that the players themselves have a say on the proposals. Lastly, he shared his concerns on the players workload and wishes to see all factors taken into consideration before the final decision is made.