Fifa did not propose biennial World Cup, says Gianni Infantino

Gianni Infantino
Infantino made his comments at the Fifa congress in Doha in the build-up to Friday’s World Cup draw

Fifa president Gianni Infantino says world football’s governing body has not proposed staging the World Cup every two years but has only explored the feasibility of such a change.

The concept has faced criticism from federations, leagues and players, though the Confederation of African Football has given its backing.

Infantino previously said those against the move were “afraid” of change.

“Fifa has not proposed a biennial World Cup,” Infantino said.

Infantino, speaking in Doha before Friday’s 2022 World Cup draw, added: “Let’s get the process clear here – the last Fifa congress asked the Fifa administration … to start a feasibility study into holding the World Cup every two years.

“The Fifa administration under the leadership of Arsene Wenger did exactly that. Fifa did not propose anything, but came to the conclusion that it is feasible, that it would have some repercussions and impact.

“We found it would be feasible and even positive for a big part of the world, but there is of course also big opposition to it and that is where the discussion has to start.”

Former Arsenal manager Wenger has been promoting the merits of a biennial World Cup as part of his role as Fifa’s head of global development.

Feasibility studies suggested member nations would earn an additional $19m (£14.5m) every four years, while Infantino has spoken of the impact a more frequent World Cup would have on participation in the sport.

European football’s governing body Uefa, as well as South American governing body Conmebol have voiced opposition to the idea, while the International Olympic Committee fears a biennial World Cup would take attention away from other sports.

“We are looking at all options,” Infantino added. “We will take the time it takes with the utmost understanding of all positions.”


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