The international football governing body, FIFA has put forward a proposal to have the World Cup every two years instead of every four years. This proposal has been met with much criticism from UEFA. UEFA has claimed that they had requested FIFA to hold a special meeting where they can discuss the proposal but FIFA never reverted, neither did they bother to consult any other governing bodies before putting forward such a proposal. President of UEFA, Aleksander Ceferin, has made a bold statement. He stated that Europe will entirely boycott the world cup if Congress accepts the proposal.
Currently, the FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, has gotten several popular retired footballers to his side to win over support from the fans to get this proposal approved by the FIFA Congress. The FIFA congress is made of 211 countries. One surprising fact is that, majority of the countries never got a representation in FIFA.
“UEFA is disappointed with the methodology adopted, which has so far led to radical reform projects being communicated and openly promoted before having been given, together with other stakeholders, the chance to participate in any consultation meeting.” [H/T Outlook]
2022 FIFA World Cup will be the last World Cup to feature 32 men’s team
The number of teams participating in the world cup is set to increase to 48 after 2026.
UEFA is strongly against having a World Cup every two years because it feels that it will disrupt the calender events. Such an high intensity end of the year event will drain the players as they will not get enough break and it will also get in the way of events like Olympics as well as continental tournaments.
“There are real dangers associated with this plan. The dilution of the value of the No. 1 world football event, whose quadrennial occurrence gives it a mystique that generations of fans have grown up with; the erosion of sporting opportunities for the weaker national teams by replacing regular matches with final tournaments; the risk to sustainability for players, forced to engage in summer high intensity competitions every year instead of longer recuperation breaks in alternate years.”