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FIFA, UEFA & CONMEBOL battle over biennial World Cup

In the NEW episode, number 249, Kyle Fansler is joined by Simon Evans (Reuters) and Kartik Krishnaiyer (World Soccer Talk) to discuss the developing story about FIFA pushing the biennial World Cup idea. They delve into:

• What FIFA hopes to deliver in financial and soccer terms with the biennial World Cup,
• Whether Concacaf and MLS are for or against the idea
• How the idea helps or hurts Gianni Infantino politically, and
• What US Soccer Federation’s stance is on the biennial World Cup.

Listen to the show via the player above or via this link.

Launched in 2006, the World Soccer Talk Podcast is the longest running podcast on the planet. Every week, we share the latest news about watching soccer on television and streaming, in addition to discussing what we like and dislike, and featuring your questions and feedback in our Listener Mailbag segment.

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  1. Brian Ferrara

    December 29, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    There is an easy solution to all this. Expand the tournament to 64 teams and keep the tournament every 4 years. The top 32 qualifiers compete for the World Cup, and the second 32 play for the World Plate/Bowl/Spoon (sorry rugby terms there). This keeps the qualification schedule the same; the continental tournaments stay the same; etc. It’s a win win for everyone.

  2. dave

    December 26, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    Great conversation, well moderated. I compliment the panel for discussing divergent perspectives on a charged issue without overly editorializing their own preferences. I feel much better informed about the proposal and motivations of some of the key parties. Thank you.

  3. Hans

    December 23, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    Wenger being part of this nonsense could be foreseen as he was a shill for Arsenal’s owners, now he is a shill for FIFA and Infantino.
    The whole thing is politically, FIFA hates to see UEFA & CONMEBOL or any other association have too much power and getting too much money. It is a fact that from UEFA and CONMEBOL the World Cup will receive the teams that draw audiences and thus the winner. Can’t remember when a team that did not belong to these two organizations won the WC.
    In addition the claim that this will help poorer FAs is also totally false. FIFA has no idea where the money that they give to FAs will end up. Most likely in the hands of some authoritarian ruler or government that will use the funds to keep themselves in power or line their pockets.
    If push comes to shove and FIFA does not sanction the expanded Nations League, than UEFA & CONMEBOL should break off and form their own competition (like the failed ESL) and than let the most public and visible courtroom drama begin.

  4. Mercator

    December 23, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    Wouldn’t a global confederations cup serve both purposes better than a second world cup? Let the Group A and B teams (Top 2-4 from each confederation) drive the revenue and the Group C – F or whatever teams get a chance to play cross-continental games and improve. The World cup is only 48 teams, even held twice and even assuming different teams every other year, half of countries would still not make it to the tournament. Global confederations league would give almost all countries something meaningful to play in, cross-continental games, and the top 2-3 groups would still give Brazil-France and Germany-Argentina type matches to drive revenue. Even the weaker countries in the top groups would probably be significant football markets (USA, Mex, Japan, Korea, Egypt, Nigeria, etc.), and for the much lower countries I think it would be great for say the caribbean nations to play the pacific nations (all tiny islands so its a real competition). It just seems so obvious to me I can’t believe FIFA suggested this 2nd world cup crap and let UEFA beat them to the obvious solution. FIFA is just greedy and instead of attempting to do the work necessary to make a global confederations league into a real marketable brand, they just want to slap WC on it for the immediate revenue bump at the long term cost of devaluing their most important tournament. Ashamed Wenger has a part in this nonsense.

  5. JP

    December 23, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    @Roberto, more teams, increased frequency, all to generate more revenue and nothing more. What FIFA and other sports don’t realize is there’s a tipping point where too much expansion ruins what made the tournament special in the 1st place and turns it only just another disposable event that can be ignored.

    NFL increasing the schedule to 17 games from 16 and expanding the playoffs to 14 teams from 12 another example of this. NCAA always talking about adding more teams to March Madness. As soon as college football created a playoff there are cries to expand the field, which they eventually will. This will only render their regular season to be less important, which has always been the appeal of college football. One slip up can cost a team a chance of a title, that is exciting. Expanding to 8 and having every marginal contender in does nothing for the prestige of the playoff.

    Once expanded they can never go back, even though contraction (of teams in the league in many cases) of playoff/tournament teams would make for a better product. They just see it as revenue.

  6. Roberto

    December 23, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    I must have missed the decision to increase the WC to 64 games. So the length of the tournament will also have to increase. Other then making more money, what is the upside?

  7. Fechin Attuah

    December 23, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    The world cup every two years better not happen it is a bad idea

  8. locofooty

    December 23, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    64 teams!

  9. Ra

    December 23, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    @Roberto. Maybe the endgame is to expand it even further and have a WC every year, or every month…lol
    By Dec, we could see Monaco or Barbados winning it…

  10. Roberto

    December 23, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    A question that did not seem to be answered. Wenger keeps saying the biannual world cup would give more nations a chance to compete, how? Are the teams from one world cup not allowed to compete in the next one? Since mostly the same teams are in the tournament each time, how are these other teams added to the tournament?

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