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A World Cup every two years will make football “global”: Infantino

A World Cup every two years will make football “global”: Infantino

To make football “truly global”, FIFA president Gianni Infantino preached again in favor of holding the World Cup every two years, in Caracas as part of a tour of several South American countries.

«Our task as FIFA is to constantly reflect on how we can improve football in the world, make football truly global (…), we have to analyze what we can improve in national team football (…), there is no competition of club that can approach the numbers »of world-wide audience, said Infantino in a press conference in the Olympic stadium of the UCV, in Caracas.

Already raised and discarded in the 1990s, the idea of ​​a biennial World Cup instead of every four years, as it has been disputed since its inception in 1930, has resurfaced in recent months.

But it is not an isolated initiative. At the end of May, FIFA carried out “a feasibility study” requested by the Saudi Federation, close to Infantino.

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FIFA encompasses 211 countries, Infantino recalled, all with the “right to dream” about the competition, a “dream” that must “have a chance to come true, because if you have to dream for eternity in the end you prefer to do other things.”

“Today, if we speak honestly, what chances does Venezuela have of actually participating in a World Cup?” Infantino wondered, recalling that this nation of 30 million inhabitants has never participated in the tournament, and it is unlikely that it will do so in the current ones. conditions (the latter in the Conmebol qualifier).

“The possibility of reforming the calendar with a World Cup every two years, we have analyzed it from a football point of view, is possible. There are many advantages, because we give more opportunities for many more countries to participate, “explained the FIFA president.

– “Reforming the calendar is possible” –
“When it was decided that the World Cup had to be played every four years, about 100 years ago, FIFA had 40 countries,” he added. “It is time to analyze the issue,” he said, reiterating that a decision will be made by the end of the year.

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“If we make changes, we will do it if everyone is a winner,” he promised.

“The prestige of a competition does not depend on its frequency (…), it depends on its quality,” said Infantino, who estimated that this reform could allow players to reach the World Cup on equal terms by reducing the comings and goings of players South Americans to play the qualifying rounds.

“There are medical studies that say that traveling (…), with jet lag, climate change (…), is very bad for a player’s health,” he said.

He mentioned a revealing statistic: “Brazil, since 2002, has not won a match in a World Cup against a European country in the knock-out phase, not in the group phase. Since 20 years. And it is Brazil ».

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Later, Infantino met with the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, at the presidential Miraflores Palace in Caracas.

«I have told him (…) that it seems to me an extraordinary idea that the World Cup can be played every two years. It is a tremendous opportunity, “said the Chavista leader after the” pleasant conversation “with Infantino.

But the idea of ​​playing a World Cup every two years has drawn great criticism.

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin condemned this proposal in mid-June, judging it “impossible” in an interview with AFP.

For Conmebol, a World Cup every two years could “distort” the competition, “lowering its quality and undermining its exclusive nature and its current demanding standards.”

Several coaches have also criticized the idea of ​​a biennial World Cup, such as the German Jürgen Klopp (Liverpool), who estimates that in this project “only money matters.” AFP (HN)

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