World football governing body, FIFA, has revealed that it considers holding the prestigious World Cup competition every two years instead of the usual four years.
FIFA is set to begin a feasibility study on the possibility after the Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF) presented a proposal to the governing body at the annual congress.
This means that FIFA World Cup competitions for both the men’s and women’s tournaments would become a biannual event, according to Goal.
“We believe the future of football is at a critical juncture,” said SAFF president Yasser Al-Misehal in presenting the plan.
“The many issues that football has faced have now been further exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic.
“It is important to review how the global game is structured, which should include whether the current four-year cycle remains the optimum basis for how football is managed both from a competition and a commercial perspective as well as overall football development.
“Having fewer yet more meaningful competitive national team matches could potentially address concerns regarding player welfare whilst at the same time enhancing the value and merit of such competitions.”
President Gianni Infantino indicated that any investigation would not be rushed at the congress, saying: “We have to go into these studies with an open mind but we are not going to take decisions which will jeopardise what we are [already] doing. We know about the value of the World Cup, believe me.
“I would like to put this discussion in a much broader context, that of the international match calendar. Are we really convinced that playing qualifying games [across the year] is the right way when we are saying that fans want more meaningful games?
“All these points have to be considered. But we will put the sporting element as the top priority, not the commercial element.”
The world is heading to Qatar for the next competition which would hold by the end of 2022, with Australia/New Zealand 2023 to follow eight months later for the women’s game.
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