WORLD CUP

South America's CONMEBOL against idea of biennial World Cup

CONMEBOL criticised the idea of a biennial World Cup, saying such plans were “highly nonviable” and would put a “practically impossible burden” on football’s international calendar.

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South America's CONMEBOL against idea of biennial World Cup
DPA vía Europa Press DPA vía Europa Press

The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) criticised the idea of a biennial World Cup on Friday, saying such plans were “highly unviable” and would put a “practically impossible burden” on football’s international calendar.

Its stance comes as world soccer’s governing body FIFA undertakes a feasibility study into the match calendar.

The review, led by former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, has proposed the World Cup every two years, alternating with continental tournaments such as the European Championship.

“Under the current conditions, it is already complicated to reconcile times, schedules, logistics, and the adequate preparation of teams and commitments,” CONMEBOL said in a statement.

“The situation would be extremely difficult with the proposed change. It could even put the quality of other tournaments at risk, both club and international.

“There is no sporting justification to cut the time period between World Cups.”

Its position against the moves come a day after European soccer's governing body UEFA also rejected the idea.

UEFA threaten boycott

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has warned that European nations could boycott a biennial World Cup competition.

FILE PHOTO: Euro 2020 - Semi Final - England v DenmarkFILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Semi Final - England v Denmark - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - July 7, 2021 UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin in the stands before the match Pool via REUTERS/Catherine Ivill/File Photo

Former players such as Ronaldo and Peter Schmeichel have backed the idea but current players and coaches – Juergen Klopp and Gareth Bale among them - were not as enthusiastic.

The World Leagues Forum, which represents the main domestic club competitions, has also opposed the proposals.

CONMEBOL said a biennial World Cup could lead to a distortion of the tournament, “lowering its quality and undermining its exclusive character.”

South American sides Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay have won nine of the 21 World Cups on offer, although none since 2002 when Brazil won a record fifth title