Soccer

FIFA president Gianni Infantino: “There are too many meaningless” games

Infantino continues his quest to stage a biennial World Cup as the FIFA “Legends” partake in a feasibility study, for which many FIFA members voted.

On Wednesday, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said the structure of the current games is unsustainable for the health of the players, citing “too many meaningless” games. He said that it is difficult for players, especially now during a pandemic, to leave their clubs and travel to several different countries. “We have to have a system that is simple, which clearly defines when there are national team games and when there are club games," Infantino said.

Support and opposition for Infantino's World Cup proposal

Though many of the FIFA “Legends” members, the African Football Confederation, and several Asian countries are in favor of the idea of a World Cup every two years, there has been much opposition to the idea as well. UEFA, clubs, players, and fans have harshly criticized the plan, noting that the schedule is already jam-packed each year. It’s also been said that the World Cup would cease to be something unique and special if held every two years instead of four.

In a statement, the World League Forum said, "The World Cup is a unique sporting event. FIFA's leadership cannot be able to turn something exceptional into a commonplace event purely to serve their short-term interests."

Even still, as Infantino points out, 88% of the member associations voted in favor of the feasibility study, which is led by FIFA's chief of global football development Arsene Wenger. Infantino said that the new schedule for games should be in place by the year 2024, when the current men’s cycle ends.

"This global process is exhaustive, so by 2024 we need to have a new match calendar. That's why we need to take some decisions by the end of this year."