Since 1930 when the World Cup was launched, it has always been held once in every four years and no one seemed to have a problem with that.
However, ahead of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation submitted a proposal to FIFA asking the football governing body to hold the World Cup every two years.
Most member countries that were present at FIFA’s congress in May 2021, agreed that the proposal should go through a feasibility study. The feasibility study is expected to help FIFA to understand the impact of playing the FIFA World Cup and FIFA Women`s World Cup every two years.
Arsene Wenger, former Arsenal’s coach who now services as FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development has been given the responsibility to head the team carrying out the study.
The outcome of the study would determine whether or not FIFA would go ahead with the plan to hold the World once in two years instead of once in four years.
Wenger and his team members are expected to discuss with all key stakeholders, including confederations and member associations, according to a FIFA spokesperson.
The spokesperson said: “FIFA encourages everybody to share their points of view in a positive spirit of dialogue. We note with satisfaction the willingness from stakeholders to discuss the International Match Calendar and other important issues. Fans around the world are being consulted on an unprecedented scale and FIFA will publish results in due course. The consultation aims to conduct a comprehensive analysis taking into account the diverse views and interests of global football.
“There are no predetermined objectives, and FIFA has an open mind in search of better solutions for the common good of the game.”
However, in reaction to a letter from Football Supporters Europe, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said the European football governing would come out against the plan in the coming week.
The Football Supporters Europe believes that FIFA is not consulting relevant stakeholders over the proposal but is carrying out a public relations campaign to sell the idea across the world.
UEFA’s move against the proposed change could be a big blow against the plan since Europe has the highest number of federations.
After FIFA’s feasibility study, if the outcome of the study is favorable, FIFA would need the votes of 211 national football federations and associations which make up FIFA’s congress, before the change can stand.
Why UEFA and other confederations should kick against proposed plans to hold the World Cup every two years?
Most federations would like the idea of holding the FIFA World Cup every two years because it would increase the revenue of the federations.
Aside from that, there will be increased chances for the less strong national football teams to make it into the World Cup since they would not have to wait for four years to do that.
However, it would force players to play more games in the already congested era of football. If that happens, the health of the players might be sacrificed for it.
Also, if the World Cup is held every two years, the tournament would most certainly be held in the same year as the Olympics.
In the same vein, most confederations hold their continental tournaments every two years. Hence, if the World Cup is often held every two years, there could be some years in which continental tournaments might be held in the same year as the World.
On the other hand, a national team that is enjoying its best era would have a bigger chance to win the tournament successively to the detriment of others if it is held every two years.