Intensifying its opposition to FIFA’s push for biennial World Cups, UEFA complained that Gianni Infantino’s world physique has but to reply to its request for talks to debate the issues of European nations.
Infantino has been deploying retired gamers and former Arsenal supervisor Arsene Wenger in a marketing campaign to win assist for the overhaul of world soccer, which UEFA stated is an indication of “promotional campaigns of unilaterally pre-determined concepts” fairly than an open session course of.
Doubling the frequency of World Cups would create vital disruption for membership competitions, continental tournaments, together with the European Championship, and present international occasions just like the Olympics.
“UEFA is dissatisfied with the methodology adopted, which has to this point led to radical reform initiatives being communicated and brazenly promoted earlier than having been given, along with different stakeholders, the possibility to take part in any session assembly,” European soccer’s governing physique stated in a press release.
More than every week after asking FIFA “to organize a special meeting with them to be able to voice their concerns on the impact of such plans,” UEFA stated it “to date not yet received a reply.”
A day after that request, FIFA on Sept. 15 invited all 211 member associations to a common on-line summit on its plans.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has already stated that Europe may boycott the World Cup if Infantino succeeds in securing approval for his plan from the FIFA Congress of all member associations. Most of these international locations by no means get to play on the World Cup, which is able to characteristic 32 males’s groups for the final time in 2022 earlier than increasing to 48 nations in 2026.
“There are real dangers associated with this plan,” UEFA stated in a press release after an government committee assembly, “the dilution of the value of the No. 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 recuperation breaks in alternate years.”
Major girls’s tournaments, such because the World Cup and continental occasions just like the European Championship, are at the moment held in odd-numbered years. The males’s World Cup and Euros are held in even-numbered years. FIFA’s new imaginative and prescient would imply yearly would characteristic a males’s match, together with continental occasions.
“We are grateful for the attention reserved to the UEFA European Championship, with the proposed double frequency of its final event,” UEFA stated, “but we prefer to address such a sensitive matter with a comprehensive rather than speculative approach.”
UEFA flagged up “the risk for the future of women’s tournaments, deprived of exclusive slots and overshadowed by the proximity of top men’s events.”
A World Cup would additionally conflict with the Olympics, in contrast to now, if the brand new plans are accredited.
UEFA highlighted “the impact on the global sports system and respect that football, as the most followed sport worldwide, must show to consolidated spaces of exposure and exploitation used by other sports.” FIFA has been stepping up the publication of in-house interviews that includes former gamers stating the case for a assessment of the worldwide match calendar and for holding the World Cup each two years. Infantino has not been made obtainable for remark since May.
“The serious concerns that the FIFA proposal provokes … cannot be dispelled simply with unsubstantiated promotional slogans on the supposed benefits of a thicker calendar for final tournaments,” UEFA stated.
“The respect for a consultation process with the stakeholders — which should be unbiased — would suggest abstaining from promotional campaigns of unilaterally pre-determined concepts that nobody has been given the possibility to see in detail and which have wide-ranging, often unexpected, effects.”