FIFA Vice President proposes possible alternatives to biennial World Cup idea

FIFA President Gianni Infantino supports idea of holding World Cup every two years, but the idea has been met with strong opposition from many organizations

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - World Cup - Final - France v Croatia - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - July 15, 2018  France's Hugo Lloris lifts the trophy as they celebrate winning the World Cup  REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - World Cup - Final - France v Croatia - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - July 15, 2018 France's Hugo Lloris lifts the trophy as they celebrate winning the World Cup REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/File Photo

FIFA Vice-President Victor Montagliani has spoken out against potential plans of a biennial FIFA World Cup, and has raised the possibility of an alternate tournament to fill the gap.

Arsène Wenger, the former Arsenal manager and current FIFA Chief of Global Football Development, has proposed playing the World Cup every two years, instead of every four years. That proposal, supported by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, has been met by strong resistance from several football leagues, confederations and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The IOC has previously expressed concern over the impact of a biennial World Cup on other sports, and the lack of athlete representation regarding the proposal.

The Canadian Montagliani is the president of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), and told Reuters he believes a compromise can be reached.

Nov 12, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; United States forward Tim Weah (20) heads the ball over Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera (16) during a FIFA World Cup Qualifier soccer match at TQL Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 12, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; United States forward Tim Weah (20) heads the ball over Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera (16) during a FIFA World Cup Qualifier soccer match at TQL Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

“The principle of having in event in between World Cups is something I’m totally for,” Montagliani told Reuters. “We used to have something in between the World Cups, which was the old Confederations Cup. It wasn’t a tournament everyone was turned on to but some confederations it was a nice link between your regional competition and in international competition and we lost that.”

“Four or five years ago we had discussions over a Global Nations League so these discussions are not foreign to the table. Whether it’s a Global Nations League or a Confederations Cup, these are events that occur in between the current World Cup cycles,” said Montagliani.

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and the South American Football Confederation have threatened to boycott a biennial World Cup.

The Confederations Cup, which involved the six continental champions, the World Cup champion and the host nation was discontinued after the 2017 edition.

FIFA is planning to hold a global summit of all national associations to discuss their plans on December 20. The agreement for the current calendar of international tournaments ends in 2024.

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