Friday, July 30, 2021

FIFA to look into holding World Cup every two years

Football’s world governing body FIFA has been given the mandate to make a feasibility study of hosting the men’s and women’s World Cups every two years instead of its current four-year cycle.

Domestic federations voted 166-22 at a virtual congress of the ruling body in favour of an according motion from Saudi Arabia’s national federation on the impact of holding the events every two years.

FIFA has in several stages increased the numbers of teams at World Cup, with 48 teams instead of 32 at the men’s event from 2026 and the women with 32 teams from 2023, up from 24.

But the four-year cycle itself has never been touched as the international match calendar also includes continental tournaments, the Olympics, qualifiers, plus domestic and international club competitions.

However, FIFA boss Gianni Infantino said that a full review of the calendar from 2024 is needed to help make football truly global, saying that talks must start from “a blank sheet of paper”.

There are also plans to look into a possible annual staging of junior World Cups to give more players a chance to feature there.

The South American Football Confederation has announced that Colombia will no longer co-host this year’s Copa America amid civil unrest and surging coronavirus cases.

Colombia had been scheduled to host fixtures in four cities, and the final was earmarked for Barranquilla’s Estadio Metropolitano on July 10.

The announcement came just hours after Colombian sports minister Ernesto Lucena asked South American Confederation to postpone the tournament until local coronavirus restrictions were eased to allow fans into stadia.

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez this week offered to stage the entire Copa America if Colombia could no longer be a co-host.

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