Zurich (DPA) – Gianni Infantino stood up for his keynote address – and then announced possible far-reaching reforms in world football.
At the eleven-point event, the FIFA president outlined his views for the future, which are likely to be controversial. The offside rule is “something we have to look at,” Swiss said, and the simulation game for an already overloaded game calendar from 2024 should begin “with a blank sheet of paper”. In addition, Infantino FIFA is already reviewing the event of the World Cup every two years instead of four – and the World Union is watching the German Football Association with concern.
When asked about Fritz Keller’s resignation as DFB president, during the post-Congress press conference, Infantino said, “Of course we are following what is happening in Germany, of course we are not happy with it.” It seems like DFB “will not rest now”. “Maybe it would be nice to have a real election for the president,” Infantino said. “If you always try to find a compromise solution, it may not always work.”
FIFA, whose largest national association is the DFB, needs “a strong DFB president”, Infantino said, or “maybe, why not, a DFB president, it could be an idea”.
Just another idea is to shorten the rhythm of the World Cup. The Congress approved a proposal by the Saudi Arabian Association to conduct a feasibility study – for men and women for the final. “We have to go into these studies openly,” Infantino said. Sports value will always be in the foreground, not commercial. Under Swiss, an increase of 32 to 48 participants was already scheduled in the men’s tournament, and the new format would premiere in 2026 in the USA, Canada and Mexico.
In his inaugural speech, Infantino emphasized that football should become “more global”. “Is Football Really Global?” The 51-year-old asked. “No, she is not.” He sees a great imbalance, with some clubs having the greatest resources distributed. Although he did not explicitly name the European Football Association, he meant, in particular, European clubs that earn with their competitions all over the world, but distribute income only in Europe.
Infantino confirmed his disapproval of the failed Super League project. The current model in football is also “not quite right”. “New York Times” reported on Thursday (local time) that FIFA has been involved in conversations with the founders of the Super League over the past few months. According to the US newspaper, FIFA’s support is considered a pre-requisite for the founders to continue their own league plan in addition to UEFA. The project of twelve European top clubs crashed within 48 hours at the end of April, with only Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Juventus Turin still clinging to it.
The offside rule under point six in Infantino’s program (Rules of the Game) has been under scrutiny for some time. “We are testing a possible new rule,” Infantino said. The key point is the reverse of that definition when an attacker is recalled due to an offside situation. The test is currently being conducted in the United States and China.
So far, it is offside if an attacker is closer to an opponent’s goal than the opponent’s last outfield player, when playing with a part of his body by a teammate in the opponent’s half with whom he can score a goal Is (for example) the knee). A possible new rule, Infantino explained, would be that the attacker should not have to score with any part of his body so as not to blow back the whistle.
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