January 4 – Having spent months extolling the virtues of a biennial World Cup, met with fierce resistance by UEFA and sceptics everywhere, Gianni Infantino is now suggesting the Euros could go the same way.
In what could be interpreted as a surprise olive branch, the FIFA president told an Italian radio show that the Euros could also happen more frequently should a move for a biennial World Cup be successful.
Continuing to bang the drum for his pet project, Infantino said: “In Europe there is resistance because there is a World Cup every week with the leagues and the best players in the world but that isn’t the case for the rest of the world: it’s a month a year and we need to find a way to truly include the whole world in football.”
“It’s not my idea but FIFA’s – and a feasibility study has been requested by 166 nations.”
“The presumptions are clear: 88% of countries, including the majority of those in Europe, have asked for the study and the study tells us that from a sporting point of view, a World Cup every two years would work: there would be fewer international matches but with a greater impact.”
But when asked how this would affect the credibility of the Euros, UEFA’s flagship competition for national teams, he replied: “The Euros could also be held every two years.”
Whether such comments will appease UEFA is highly doubtful but it’s clear the debate is far from over with the strong possibility of it coming to a head at the next FIFA Congress in March.
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