Paris (AFP) – Supporters groups from across the globe said on Tuesday they were against proposed plans to hold a World Cup every two years.
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who is now director of development at world governing body FIFA, has called for football’s showpiece competition to become a biennial event.
“The overwhelming majority of fans oppose a biennial World Cup cycle-and if FIFA had bothered to engage with us on the subject, they would have known this to be the case,” 58 national fan organisations across the sport’s six confederations said in a joint-statement.
“Why abandon almost a century’s worth of tradition on a whim and with no evidence that it will improve the global game?
“On the contrary, such a move threatens to destroy the already fragile balance between local, domestic, continental, and international competitions and calendars,” they added.
On Monday, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin warned holding the World Cup every two years would “dilute” the “jewel” of world football.
“We, therefore, call on FIFA and supportive national football associations to abandon their proposals to impose a biennial World Cup and include fans’ voices in any decisions that affect the future of the game that we fund and make a global spectacle,” the fan groups said.
“In particular, it will devalue and endanger the established competitions run by the various confederations-competitions that are just as important to match-going fans as the World Cup itself.
“We enjoy the World Cup precisely because it is an extraordinary event. Most of us do not have the time, money, or ability to travel to the other side of the world every 24 months to watch our teams play in a much-diminished competition and half-empty stadia.”
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