FIFA President Gianni Infantino compared the proposal to host the World Cup every two years to the Super Bowl and Wimbledon, saying on Tuesday that such a plan would take nothing away from the “magic” of the event.
Under Infantino’s leadership, FIFA has launched a campaign with former players and coaches (Brazil’s Ronaldo and France’s Arsène Wenger are among them) to build support for a biennial World Cup, which would require the approval of the FIFA Congress of 211 member countries.
Despite strong reluctance from players, clubs, national teams and fans, Infantino doubled down on his support for the idea on Tuesday.
“A World Cup with 48 teams (from 2026) has already been decided. Whether it takes place every two or four years is in consultation,” Infantino told Reuters on Tuesday. “Definitely believe in hosting more prestigious events, be it the World Cup or whatever.… It is precisely because this is a magical tournament that it should happen more often.
“The prestige of an event depends on its quality, not how often. You have the Super Bowl every year, Wimbledon or the Champions League every year, and everyone is excited and waiting for it.”
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has previously said Europe could boycott the World Cup if it takes place every two years after FIFA rejected the association’s request to hold talks on it . The European Club Association, which was blinded earlier this year by the Super League’s proposal, also strongly criticized the plan.
With the 2022 World Cup taking place in November and December and the 2026 World Cup dropping from 32 to 48 teams, the World Cup in years gone by could become just that: a thing of the past.
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