News ID: 316306
Published: 0218 GMT September 14, 2021

AFC, CONCACAF back FIFA's biennial World Cup feasibility study

AFC, CONCACAF back FIFA's biennial World Cup feasibility study

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said it welcomed world governing body FIFA's plan to conduct a feasibility study into staging the World Cup every two years instead of every four.

The region is guaranteed four automatic spots and an intercontinental play-off slot for the men's 2022 World Cup, alongside tournament hosts Qatar, Reuters reported.

FIFA's proposal of staging a biennial World Cup has been met with opposition, with Europe's governing body UEFA rejecting the idea while the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said the proposal was "highly unviable".

Meanwhile, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) said it was also open to the idea.

CONCACAF said it recognised the merits of creating a new soccer calendar if it meant fewer international windows, less travel for players and more competitive games instead of friendlies.

"We will continue to look at these proposals constructively, with an open mind, and in the spirit of positive engagement," CONCACAF said in a statement.

"While CONCACAF's immediate focus is on its own region, we also believe in the importance of being part of the global football family and we will listen to the views of football stakeholders in all parts of the world.

"We encourage not only our fellow confederations but also all members of the global football family to come together and work collaboratively to create FIFA calendars and competitions that have benefits for the development of the game in all regions across the world."

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin warned last week of a potential European boycott of the World Cup if FIFA's plans go ahead.

“We can decide not to play in it," Ceferin told The Times newspaper.

"As far as I know, the South Americans are on the same page. So good luck with a World Cup like that.

"I think it will never happen as it is so much against the basic principles of football.

"To play every summer a one-month tournament, for the players it’s a killer. If it’s every two years it clashes with the women’s World Cup, with the Olympic football tournament," added Slovenian Ceferin.

“The value is precisely because it is every four years, you wait for it, it’s like the Olympic Games, it’s a huge event. I don’t see our federations supporting that.

 “I hope they (FIFA) will come to their senses, because I don’t see the right approach to go everywhere except the confederations, not to speak to us.

"They didn’t come, they didn’t call, I didn’t get a letter or anything. I just read in the media.”

Ceferin said he also had no interest in UEFA's Euros being held every two years instead of every four years.

“It might be good for UEFA financially but the problem is we would be killing football like that. We are killing the players. I don’t see the clubs allowing the players to go and that would divide us completely," he added.



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