— Published 23 November 2021

Standing up to FIFA’s plan


It was to be expected: FIFA’s plan to organise the football World Cup every other year is causing the Olympic movement to react. The IOC was the first to react, via its Executive Board, but with caution and diplomacy. In turn, the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) has expressed its mistrust of a project that would upset the sporting calendar. The body explains in a press release that its executive council examined the question at its last meeting. The result was a resolution in which ASOIF did not spare its criticism of FIFA. The harmonisation of the international sports calendar is a difficult and delicate task that deserves more attention and consideration from all stakeholders in a spirit of constructive coordination,” wrote ASOIF. These proposals by FIFA could have an impact on the development of the sport and jeopardise the sustainability of other international federations’ events. The ASOIF Council believes that a unilateral decision on such an important issue will have consequences that should not be underestimated. The impact of holding the FIFA World Cup every two years, as well as the introduction or expansion of European leagues and competitions, would be considerable not only in the world of football, but for all sports worldwide. Therefore, the Council urges, first of all, the various football authorities to consult fully and consider the issue carefully, and then to engage with the world sporting community to find an appropriate solution.” ASOIF’s message is clear: FIFA cannot go it alone on a project whose effects would affect the entire sports movement. It must consult the other federations. The conclusions of this consultation are already known: the project must be abandoned. Note: FIFA is a member of ASOIF, as football is part of the programme of the Summer Olympic Games.