FIFA to look at preventing teams from competing in consecutive World Cups
They're really not letting this Biennial World Cup idea go, are they?
FIFA, despite what pretty much everyone else thinks, aren't for letting go of their grand plans to double the number of World Cups any time soon.
The idea to introduce biennial World Cups was floated a few weeks ago and has drawn criticism from UEFA, several high-profile players and football fans aplenty. Despite the fierce opposition, international football's governing body appears unmoved.
The Associated Press has now obtained a recording of FIFA president Gianni Infantino speaking to UEFA members at an event on Tuesday which was closed to the press.
Despite facing even more opposition to the idea, Infantino stood his ground - insisting the reform of the international game was a necessary step for the development of football.
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) September 9, 2021
Infantino also appeared to suggest that any changes would help keep young people interested in football (ah, "we need to change football because young people don't like it" - sounds awfully familiar, doesn't it?).
"I believe as well that the enemy of football is not the World Cup or is not FIFA but it is other activities that young boys and young girls are running after today," Infantino said towards the end of the meeting.
"We need to see how jointly and together we can bring them back to be interested in football. And we want to, as far as I’m concerned, do this all together as we have always been doing in the last few years."
On the subject of biennial World Cups, Infantino insisted that decisions had to be made based on what every FIFA member thought, not just those in UEFA.
"We cannot just shape new proposals based on feedback from from Europe," he said. "We have to respect the opinions of everyone."
The AP report also adds that Infantino welcomed a proposal from general secretary of the Portuguese federation, Tiago Craveiro, which would see FIFA explore the possibility of preventing teams from competing in consecutive World Cups - if the biennial model was pushed through.
"I welcome as well the idea of Thiago to say, well, we need more participation and maybe there is a way of doing that by having two World Cups, but not with the same teams participating," he said.
"I don’t know. This is something that the technical people will study, but this is certainly something that we have to look into."
Like it or not (we definitely don't like it), we've not heard the last of biennial World Cups.