UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said that plans to hold a biennial World Cup are a “no go” for everyone in football, adding that FIFA has also come to the same realisation.
The idea of a World Cup every two years has been gathering steam with FIFA president Gianni Infantino trying to get support from national federations, saying the switch would create an extra $4.4 billion in revenues for the world body.
Infantino insisted in December that he had majority backing to make the change despite opposition from European clubs andF top leagues, and contrary to what the president of the continent’s governing body believes.
When contacted by Reuters, a FIFA spokesperson said the global governing body wanted to continue discussions on the international match calendar. Ceferin, however, said FIFA had realised its plan would not come to fruition.
“A biennial World Cup is a no go for everyone in football,” Ceferin told the Financial Times Football Business Summit. “I am glad FIFA has realised that as well.
“I had a discussion with FIFA’s president about it yesterday. We cannot say football on other continents cannot be developed, but we should be aligned and it should not hurt European and South American Federations.
“We have discussions but as far as I am concerned, a biennial World Cup is off the table. I am sure we will come to a solution with FIFA soon,” he added.
FIFA said it was continuing discussions on improving the game globally. “We are engaging and debating on a solution for everyone,” its statement read.
“The development of football around the world is crucial, including regions which are increasingly being left behind in terms of development, and we look forward to continuing discussions on a new international match calendar for youth, men and women’s football,” it added.