Soccer-European club body opposes biennial World Cup plans


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - World Cup - Final - France v Croatia - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia - July 15, 2018 France's Hugo Lloris passes the trophy as they celebrate winning the World Cup REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/File Photo

(Reuters) - European Leagues, the body representing professional club competitions on the continent, has firmly and unanimously opposed any proposals to stage the World Cup every two years.

European Leagues is the latest among a number of stakeholders in the game who have expressed concerns over FIFA's plans for a biennial World Cup.

"The Leagues will work together with the other stakeholders to prevent football governing bodies to take unilateral decisions that will harm domestic football which is the foundation of our industry," the association said in a statement on Thursday.

FIFA, acting on a suggestion made by the Saudi Arabia Football Federation earlier this year, is conducting a feasibility study into whether it can go ahead with the ambitious idea of a biennial World Cup.

"New competitions, revamped competitions or expanded competitions for club and national team football both at continental level and/or at global level are not the solutions to the current problems of our game in an already congested calendar," added the European Leagues statement https://europeanleagues.com/european-leagues-statement-on-football-calendar.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Wednesday said there were too many "meaningless international games" and such a system was unhealthy for the sport, adding that a new men's calendar is likely to be introduced by the end of 2024 when the current cycle ends.

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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