September 17 – The war of words between FIFA and UEFA over the growing possibility of staging the World Cup every two years has taken a significant twist with UEFA boss Aleksander Ceferin demanding a face-to-face summit with his FIFA counterpart Gianni Infantino.
The two high-profile figures have been at odds ever since FIFA’s chief of global football development Arsene Wenger outlined his radical proposal to overhaul the international match calendar and scrap the almost century-old tradition of holding the World Cup every four years.
Whilst Africa is in favour of the idea along with several individual Asian countries, both UEFA and Conmebol have expressed their opposition, as has the international players’ union FIFPRO.
Wenger believes a biennial tournament would result in more quality entertainment and raise more funds for player development in poorer countries but those who oppose it say it is a step too far in breaking with tradition and would be too taxing on the players. They also argue the real motive behind the concept is more money in FIFA’s coffers.
Now, according to The Athletic, Ceferin has become personally involved by sending a letter to FIFA asking for a top-level summit.
The news broke after UEFA reportedly held a previously unpublicised meeting of its 55 member associations earlier this week to discuss the way forward.
Ceferin, who has regularly clashed with Infantino since becoming head of European football’s governing body in 2016, has already gone on record as saying the idea would seriously dilute the tournament and that “the jewel of the World Cup has value precisely because of its rarity”.
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