BUENOS AIRES — FIFA is exploring the opportunity of staging the World Cup each two years, fairly than each 4, the president of South American soccer’s governing physique confirmed on Friday.
Alejandro Dominguez, the president of the South American physique, Conmebol, submitted the proposal at a FIFA congress in Kigali, Rwanda, in October. Dominguez mentioned Friday biennial World Cup would function a viable — and even preferable — various to the expanded continental championships like UEFA’s Nations League and the Copa América.
Aleksander Ceferin, Dominguez’s counterpart at UEFA, has made clear his want to include South American groups into Europe’s new Nations League championship in some unspecified time in the future. Although Dominguez, a Paraguayan, insisted he was not against that concept, he mentioned that he had inspired FIFA to look at the advantages of fixing the World Cup’s cycle as a substitute.
Any proposed adjustments to the World Cup, FIFA’s marquee occasion, are positive to face opposition. A latest growth of the quadrennial match from its present 32 groups to 48 for the 2026 occasion provoked fierce opposition earlier than it was permitted unanimously in 2017. Sepp Blatter, FIFA’s former president, floated the thought of a World Cup each two years as early as 1999, however the idea did not garner assist.
However since assuming his publish in 2016, FIFA’s present president, Gianni Infantino, has been supportive of each new occasions and main adjustments to soccer’s worldwide calendar, together with the World Cup growth, a so-called mini World Cup of eight groups in off cycles and a multibillion-dollar proposal for an expanded membership world championship. Every would produce important new income for FIFA.
Sponsors are much more prone to spend money on sports activities organizations that maintain main occasions each two years fairly than each 4, one thing the Worldwide Olympic Committee has skilled. Within the 1990s it began alternating the Summer time and Winter Video games each two years.
The elevated income would permit Infantino to comply with by way of on marketing campaign pledges to return extra of FIFA’s billions to its member associations, and it additionally might serve to fend off energy performs by rivals to Infantino, particularly in Europe, as he prepares to run for re-election subsequent yr.
On Friday, Conmebol solid its lot with the president, asserting that it might assist Infantino’s bid for an additional time period.
Doubling the frequency of soccer’s most glamorous match, nevertheless, not solely would convey appreciable financial advantages but in addition would permit gamers to expertise the World Cup much more usually of their careers, Dominguez mentioned Friday.
“I by no means say no; I all the time say, why not?” Dominguez mentioned on the eve of this weekend’s Copa Libertadores remaining in Buenos Aires. “We all the time wished to have a world Nations League, and we all the time will assist an concept like that, or a proposal as now we have made to FIFA, which is to do the World Cup each two years and never each 4.
“As a substitute of getting a Nations League in between, we will simply go forward and do a World Cup each two years.”
He harassed shortened schedule would give extra gamers the chance to compete within the World Cup, and the most effective likelihood to play in additional of them. (Dominguez has championed increasing the 2022 Qatar World Cup to 48 groups, a proposal that can also be into account by FIFA.)
“If we stick with this format, many gamers couldn’t play greater than two,” Dominguez mentioned. “So we see a possibility there. There’s a proposal put ahead to FIFA to take it over, and say whether or not it’s a world Nations League or whether or not there is a chance to play the World Cup each two years.”
Such a transfer, Dominguez mentioned, additionally would permit FIFA to alternate the match far more simply amongst its six member confederations. There could be “extra options,” he mentioned.