FIFA once again reaffirmed its plans to change how often the World Cup occurs. During a meeting of its 211 members, during which they discussed the future of football, delegates heard about the benefits of introducing a biennial tournament.
Since it was introduced by Saudi Arabia in May, FIFA president Gianni Infantino has been pushing for the World Cup to be held every two years.
Independent consultants found that a biennial World Cup would boost revenue by £3.3 billion, causing it to jump from £5.3 billion to £8.6 billion. Delegates were guided to the idea that £2.6 billion would be put into a fund so that national economies could benefit and would get an extra £12.1 million each.
This type of marketing material will be relevant to those countries not likely to compete in the World Cup any time soon. However, the distribution methods were not mentioned.
In September, FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, Arsene Wenger, rejected the idea that the proposal is about money.
“We have not even looked at that,” Wenger told BBC Sport. “I started in my office to think how… can I reorganise the international match calendar and try to, at the same time, make football better.
He added: “My proposal is purely based on football.”
According to a new survey conducted by FIFA’s “external experts,” fans support more World Cups for men’s and women’s. The strongest disapproval for both came from England, Germany and France, while the likes of India, Vietnam and Turkey have the most positive opinions and were strongly in favour.
“In some countries, you have the World Cup twice per week because you have the best players in the world playing there,” Infantino said.
“In other countries, regions, even continents, you do not see the World Cup, the best players, in one life, in one generation. We need to think about all these elements as we move forward.”
The FIFA president cited studies as proof that the younger generation wants to see more World Cups.