FIFA sets talks with soccer leaders on biennial World Cup
ZURICH (AP). FIFA has finally begun speaking to players’ unions, soccer leagues, and clubs this month as part of its push to organize a men’s World Cup every two-years.
All 211 member federations have also been invited to online talks on Sept. 30 as part of consulting on the future of national team soccer, including a biennial men’s World Cup.
FIFA requested approval from retired players this month, including World Cup winners, who traveled to Qatar for a two day conference. surveys were also ordered by fans in select countries. FIFPRO, the global association for active players, criticized this process as being flawed and is now preparing to meet with FIFA. A “new phase” of consultation will begin with players’ clubs, leagues, and six continental governing bodies. FIFA stated Monday in a statement.
UEFA, the European soccer body UEFA, has warned that it may boycott if World Cup moves beyond its four-year cycle. CONMEBOL in South America is also opposed. Their members dominate World Cups on the field but combine for fewer than one-third of the 211 federations who vote.
FIFA believes that biennial World Cups will allow more teams and players to participate in meaningful games, increase talent worldwide and raise more money for development programs.
Opposition focuses on reducing the appeal of the World Cup, distorting domestic and international soccer and over-scheduling players. Increasing World Cups could also threaten the prestige of CONMEBOL’s Copa America and the European Championships of UEFA.
The World Cup debate is now overshadowed by an ongoing examination of the FIFA-managed International Match Calendars that mandate when clubs should release players to their national teams.
The men’s calendar ends in 2024, and there is widespread agreement that the current system has become outdated. The current system requires that players travel to matches in different windows at least four times per domestic season.
FIFA proposes streamlining the calendar by allowing smaller tournament qualifying groups to play all matches in one block in October.
The women’s calendar ends in 2023,, when the next World Cup will take place in Australia and New Zealand.
Women’s soccer could be overcrowded by clashes caused by more men’s World Cups the German soccer association said last Wednesday. Arsene Weber, a former Arsenal coach and now global development director for soccer worldwide, is leading the
FIFA changes. He suggested that decisions could be made as early as December.
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