ZURICH — The heated controversy over a football World Cup every two years is turning into a protracted struggle for Gianni Infantino to get approval for his current favorite project.
After an energetic veto from Europe and the FIFA Council’s decision not to vote before Christmas, the world federation’s president clinging to the hope of a joint solution. He had already indicated a possible turning point. «We want to achieve this consensus. We will see what it looks like,” said Infantino in Zurich.
DFB is “satisfied”
The German Football Association, on the other hand, is “satisfied” with this year’s decision not to hold a Congress in the World Cup every two years and thus vote. Instead, the FIFA Council decided on Wednesday that only one global summit would take place on 20 December, with discussions on reforming the international match calendar.
At the request of the German press agency, the DFB said, “The decision was unanimous on the President’s resolution, so a vote in December is no longer required and there was no dispute in the FIFA Council in this regard.” “That is why we continue to rely on the mutually agreed solution developed by FIFA and UEFA for a globally uniform game calendar for all future-related questions.”
Shortening the World Cup rhythm to two years allowed opponents to feel like winners initially, but the situation is still harsh. During talks with representatives of the European Union, Infantino had received a clear opposition to the plans for a world union. According to information from the DPA, more than a dozen European Unions are considering leaving the World Union as a last option.
Bayern Munich President Herbert Hainer also confirmed his disapproval. Fans around the world are satisfied with the rhythm of the last four years, which has proven itself over several decades, he told “Kicker”. In addition to the European football federation UEFA, the continental association of South America also categorically rejects plans for a World Cup every two years.
After the FIFA Council meeting, Infantino expressed his desire to break out of the impasse. «Everything is open to me. Maybe we will take a step forward and a step back,” said Infantino in Zurich. “There are associations that want a World Cup every two years. We have had violent reactions and heard a lot of negative, but also positive and enthusiastic statements.”
A possible decision could now be made before the end of the year at the Congress in World Cup country Qatar on March 31, as had been hoped by Infantino. As a possible compromise, a worldwide nations league, based on the European version, is up for debate. Instead of a World Cup, it could be put back on the agenda every two years.
A FIFA Technical Advisory Group, chaired by director Arsene Wenger, proposed hosting the World Cup every two years, and shortened the pace to continental tournaments such as the European Championship. As a result, the change should eventually take effect with 48 countries in the United States, Canada and Mexico for the first time since the 2026 World Cup. Associations’ tournaments will then be held in 2027. In the already planned EM year 2028, the next World Cup was due to take place again.
Web guru. Amateur thinker. Unapologetic problem solver. Zombie expert. Hipster-friendly travel geek. Social mediaholic.