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FIFA President Says Cup Every Two Years Will Make ‘Truly Global Football’

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For football to be “truly global”, FIFA president Gianni Infantino once again defended the holding of the world Cup every two years, this Friday during a meeting in Caracas (Venezuela).

“Our duty as FIFA is to make football truly global. For that, we have to analyze how to improve the teams’ football (…) and there is no competition that comes close” to the World Cup, Infantino declared at a press conference at the UCV Olympic Stadium, in the Venezuelan capital.

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Already raised and discarded in the 1990s, the idea of ​​a World Cup biennial rather than every four years, as it has been played since its inception in 1930, has resurfaced in recent months. But it is not an isolated initiative.

At the end of May, FIFA carried out “a feasibility study” requested by the Saudi Federation, near Infantino.

“The FIFA president represents 211 countries and each one of them has the right to dream. But the dream must have a chance to come true, because if you’re going to dream forever, you’ll end up doing something else,” declared the manager of world football, who is making a series of visits to South American countries. .

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“Today, frankly speaking, what are the real chances of Venezuela participating in the World Cup?”, asked Infantino, noting that the Venezuelan team has never participated in a World Cup and will hardly be able to go to the next World Cup in Qatar, as it is. the lantern of the South American Qualifiers.

“The possibility of reforming the calendar with a World Cup every two years, we analyzed from a football point of view, is possible. There are many advantages, because we provide more opportunities for many more countries to participate”, explained the executive.

“Reforming the calendar is possible”

“When it was decided that the World Cup should be played every four years, about 100 years ago, FIFA had 40 member countries,” he added. “It’s time to analyze the matter,” he added, reiterating that a decision will be taken by the end of the year.

“If we make changes, everyone will have to feel that they have gained from them,” he promised.

“The prestige of a tournament does not depend on how often it is played,” said Infantino, who said the reform could allow players to reach the World Cup on equal terms, reducing the comings and goings of South American players to play in the qualifiers.

“Studies show that traveling, with jet lag and climate change, is bad,” he said.

“If Messi has to cover 350,000 kilometers to play in a World Cup and Cristiano Ronaldo 50,000 kilometers… It’s normal for the South Americans to be a little more tired than the Europeans.”

He cited a revealing stat: “Since 2002, Brazil hasn’t won a match in the knockout stage, nor in the group stage, against a European country. It’s been 20 years and it’s Brazil!”

But the idea of ​​playing a World Cup every two years has drawn great criticism. UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin condemned this proposal in mid-June in an interview with AFP, calling it “impossible”.

For Conmebol, a World Cup every two years could “distort” the competition, “lowering its quality and undermining its exclusive character and its current demanding standards”.

Several coaches have also criticized the idea of ​​a biennial World Cup, such as German Jürgen Klopp (Liverpool), who believes that in this project “only money matters”.

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