Premier League and EFL express their opposition to a World Cup every two years

In May, FIFA Congress agreed to a feasibility study into the calendar change, after it was requested by the Saudi Arabian football federation.

By Press Association Published: 9 September 2021 - 11.12am
Football Premier League

Arsene Wenger

The Premier League and the EFL have expressed their opposition to a World Cup every two years.

The leagues are members of the European Leagues group, which released a statement on Thursday morning saying it “firmly and unanimously opposed” plans from FIFA to shorten the gap between the showpiece tournament from four to two years.

The statement read: “The leagues have firmly and unanimously opposed any proposals to organise the FIFA World Cup every two years.

“The leagues will work together with the other stakeholders to prevent football governing bodies to take unilateral decisions that will harm domestic football which is the foundation of our industry and of utmost importance for clubs, players and fans across Europe and the world.

“New competitions, revamped competitions or expanded competitions for club and national team football both at continental level and/or at global level are not the solutions to the current problems of our game in an already congested calendar.

“The football calendar definitely requires the agreement of all stakeholders and can only be the result of a subtle balance between club and national team football and between domestic and international club football.”

European Leagues represents 37 member competitions, also including LaLiga, Ligue 1, Serie A and the Bundesliga.

In May, FIFA Congress agreed to a feasibility study into the calendar change, after it was requested by the Saudi Arabian football federation.

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, now FIFA’s head of global development, is consulting across the game about the plans and is due to address the media about it on Thursday afternoon.

Wenger, right, with FIFA president Gianni Infantino
Wenger, right, with FIFA president Gianni Infantino (Handout from FIFA/PA)

Football Supporters Europe wrote to UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin last week about its misgivings regarding the plans, and the European football chief replied to express his own “grave concerns”.

The European Club Association (ECA) said earlier this week that consultation was key, with its new chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the chairman of Paris St Germain, saying it was crucial that no “unilateral” decisions were made.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Wednesday he hoped a decision would be made by the world governing body’s member associations by the end of the year.

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