— Published 23 September 2021

UEFA expresses disappointment


The power struggle between FIFA and UEFA over the project of a World Cup every other year continues. The two football bodies are taking part in the debate with very different methods. The former consults and surveys the stakeholders, including the players and fans. It recently published the results of an opinion poll conducted among fans, which was quite clearly in favour of the project. The second has a more reactionary attitude. UEFA issued a statement on Wednesday, September 22nd, in which it once again insisted on its opposition to the idea of a World Cup every other year. “A proper consultation, rather than media announcements, is needed to assess the impact and consequences of a potential radical change,” it wrote. “UEFA is disappointed with the methodology adopted, which has so far led to plans for radical reform being communicated and openly promoted before there has been an opportunity for any consultation meeting with other stakeholders”. Clearly, the continental body and its president, Aleksander Ceferin of Slovenia, are not happy because of the lack of their involvement in the discussions. UEFA says it is still waiting for a response to its request for a meeting with FIFA. “UEFA assumes that the word feasibility encompasses all effects and consequences and includes all issues related to the calendar, formats and access to final and preliminary competitions, the impact on existing club and national team competitions, their sporting and commercial opportunities, the impact on the physical and mental health of players, the impact on fans, their desire to see more frequent tournaments of this level, the sustainability related to more frequent travels, the impact on the football ecosystem in every sense, i.e. the assessment of the balance of opportunities that the national teams of FIFA’s 211 member associations would have to develop in such a radically different scenario,” the statement said. FIFA has announced that it will hold an online summit next week, on Thursday, September 30th, to consult its member associations on the project prepared by Arsène Wenger, its head of football development.