FIFA president Gianni Infantino remains committed to the controversial proposals over staging a biennial World Cup despite them being met with fierce opposition, after a feasibility report laid out the potential advantages of the drastic change.
The independent findings discovered that switching to holding the tournament every two years would generate over £3.3billion in additional revenue over the course of four years, with FIFA keen to introduce a more level playing field.
On Monday, the study – a document made up of over 700 pages – was presented, with delegates from the 211 member associations of the organisation taken through the project, which has been masterminded by Arsene Wenger.
The research came from studies undertaken by Nielsen and OpenEconomics, in the hope of assuaging the concerns held by the likes of UEFA, the major leagues across Europe and CONMEBOL, South America’s football governing body.
All member associations were invited to the summit with criticism over the shake-up to the football calendar intensifying, and delegates were told that the financial uptick on ticket sales, media rights and sponsorships would increase substantially.
Gianni Infantino and FIFA remain committed to their controversial biennial World Cup plans
And Infantino, speaking at the press conference held after the FIFA global summit, highlighted the positive impact that the biennial plans would have.
‘It is feasible to amend the international match calendar, to make it more relevant,’ he said. ‘It is feasible as well to organise biennial World Cups for men and women. It is feasible to organise annual competitions for youths.
‘Not only is it feasible from a sporting point of view, but the economic return is very strong – meaning more money can be invested, re-invested, into football development all over the world.
‘This is quite an important project to bridge the gap between those who have and those who don’t have. At the end of the day, everyone will benefit. Everyone will have additional possibilities to play and additional revenue as well.’
Arsene Wenger, now FIFA’s chief of global football development, masterminded the proposals
Infantino highlighted the findings of a report, which says the switch-up will increase revenue
Aleksander Ceferin, the president of UEFA, has threatened FIFA with a mass boycott of the World Cup, however, should the tournament move to a two-year cycle.
The now-released feasibility study was agreed to back in May, after it was requested by the Saudi Arabian football federation, and former Arsenal manager Wenger has since been consulting players of old and coaches over the divisive proposals.
Ceferin declared that the change-up may go against ‘the basic principles of football.’
Last month, official broadcast partners became the latest group to attack FIFA – with the number of objecting voices continuing to expand.
At the Leaders in Sport conference in Doha, the beIN Media Group spoke out against the idea….