October 18 – FIFA has increased the pace of its lobbying for a biennial World Cup announcing two online video conferences for men’s national team coaches this week to discuss the proposals for a potential new calendar that would start from 2024.
With the International Olympic Committee (IOC) being the latest sports body to express concern over FIFA’s plans and calling for a wider consultation of the proposals among football and sport stakeholders, FIFA have continued their strategy of picking off individuals.
It is significant that to date FIFA has failed to get a body of major football stakeholders unequivocally supporting the biennial proposal put forward by FIFA president Gianni Infantino and FIFA Chief of Global Football Development Arsene Wenger. Only the Confederation of African Football (CAF), which is currently under full FIFA control, has supported the move unconditionally. Other confederations, leagues and stakeholders (including some sponsors) have either been fully against or have sat on the fence saying they would wait for the outcome of consultations.
FIFA did get the support of its ‘Legends’ – a group of former players that FIFA employs, generally on an ad hoc basis, and who FIFA took to Qatar to explain the concept. Naturally they followed the lead of their hosts
Wenger will lead the online meetings, the first of which is tomorrow (Tuesday 19 October) and the second on Thursday 21 October.
FIFA said the meetings will cover a range of issues including player health, international windows, the frequency of World Cup finals “and other important issues in the game”.
“As a coach of the men`s national teams, their input is essential,” said Wenger. “Opportunities for us to come together are few and far between, but we must embrace these occasions as such dialogue helps us all to protect the unique place that football has in the world and to make it truly global.”
While Wenger has been leading the Men’s Technical Advisory Group, Jill Ellis has been doing the same for the Women’s group. She is leading a press briefing later today.
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