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Less Football is Good: UEFA Reject Biennial World Cup Plan

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin detailed today why the body is against the proposal.

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin (L) talks to FIFA President Gianni Infantino during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final between Italy and England at Wembley Stadium on July 11, 2021
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin (L) talks to FIFA President Gianni Infantino during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final between Italy and England at Wembley Stadium on July 11, 2021
Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

In May, the Saudi Arabian football federation had proposed making the World Cup an event that occurs every two years instead of every four years. Speaking at the General Assembly of the European Clubs’ Association in Geneva, the UEFA President, Aleksander Ceferin, articulated the body’s views.

According to Simon Stone for BBC Sport, this has been denounced by Ceferin, who believes that such regularity would “dilute” the tournament.

“The jewel of the World Cup had value precisely because of its rarity,” Ceferin went on to say. ““Holding it every two years will lead to more randomization, less legitimacy and unfortunately, dilute the World Cup itself.”

One of the most prominent supporters of such plans is Arsené Wenger, as the former Arsenal boss led the consultation process in his role as head of global football development at FIFA.

In May, Wenger noted that he would prefer the World Cup and European Championship (presumably other continental championships would be allowed on this schedule as well).

He suggests that competitions be limited to only the most “meaningful,” and has also argued for added vacation for footballers and a condensing of qualifiers to limit in-season international breaks.

While it’s unclear which way reform discussions will go, it does seem that some major change in the structure of international football might be on the horizon.