Ceferin believes biennial World Cup would “cannibalise women’s football” as it would take place in the same year as the women’s tournament; UEFA president also feels the proposal would interfere with the Olympic Games
By Reuters
Thursday 30 December 2021 20:09, UK
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has reiterated his opposition to FIFA’s plans to stage a biennial World Cup, saying it would “cannibalise women’s football”.
Ceferin has said the women’s tournament or Olympics would be affected if they were held in the same year as the World Cup finals.
The European football governing body and its South American counterpart CONMEBOL have strongly opposed the idea of a biennial World Cup, which FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said would create an extra $4.4 billion (£3.3 billion) in revenue for the organisation.
“Europe and South America are against (the plan) and those are the only (continents with) World Cup winners in history. The problem is that the World Cup has to be every four years to be interesting,” Ceferin said at the Expo 2020 Dubai fair.
“Second, if it would be every two years, it would cannibalise women’s football because it would be at the same year as the women’s football (World Cup), other sports, the Olympic Games – many mistakes.
“It’s simply a bad idea and it will not happen because it is a bad idea, not because we are opposing it.”
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FIFA’s plans had the International Olympic Committee (IOC) worried with attendees at a summit earlier in December voicing “serious concerns” over the proposals and its impact on the world sporting calendar.
“Why are the Olympic Games every four years? Because it’s an event that you have to look forward (to), that you have to wait (for), and you have to enjoy it,” Ceferin added.
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“And it’s the biggest football event – it has to be every four years. But it’s very clear – 75% of fans around the world reject the idea (of a biennial World Cup).”
Speaking at the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai earlier this week, Kylian Mbappe and Robert Lewandowski both raised their concerns over the proposal for a biennial tournament.
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