Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, wants to modify the World Cup calendar and proposes a cup every two years.
Wenger’s proposal has generated divided opinions. On the one hand, several support the proposal, such as CONCACAF (North, Central America, and Caribbean Association Football) and AFC (Asian Football Confederation).
On the other hand, there are several detractors of the project, one of them is the UEFA.
UEFA has issued a public statement in which it expresses its discontent and complete rejection of the project.
The statement reads: “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.
“There are real dangers associated with this plan:
the dilution of the value of the n.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 recovery breaks in alternate years;
the risk for the future of women’s tournaments, deprived of exclusive slots and overshadowed by the proximity of top men’s events.
“These are just some of the serious concerns that the FIFA proposal provokes at first glance, and they cannot be dispelled simply with unsubstantiated promotional slogans on the supposed benefits of a thicker calendar for final tournaments.
“UEFA is of the opinion that the future of the international calendar should be the subject of genuine consultation and exchange between FIFA, the confederations and key stakeholders of competitions, kicking off with an open discussion on perceived problems and considering a range of solutions that will be identified in the course of the debate, taking into account the interest of the game and the legitimate point of view of the different parties. ”
UEFA and its 55 members have requested a formal meeting with FIFA to express their views and discuss the issue. However, FIFA has not yet answered.