European leagues REJECT FIFA’s proposals to reform the international calendar, a major blow to Arsene Wenger’s ambitious plan for a biennial World Cup.
- The European Leagues have rejected plans to change the international calendar
- Arsene Wenger has proposed that the FIFA World Cup be held every two years
- However, bosses fear that doing so would change the balance in football.
- Wenger, 72, spoke with league representatives during a call earlier this week.
FIFA’s proposals to reshape the international calendar have all been firmly rejected by the European leagues, which include the Premier League, EFL and SPFL among their members.
A consultation on men’s national football led by former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, now FIFA’s head of world football development, proposes a major international tournament every June, longer but fewer international breaks during the season and periods of mandatory rest for players.
European Leagues managing director Jacco Swart said the proposals created a “severe shift” in the balance between club and national team football in sporting terms and in economic value.
The European Leagues have firmly rejected FIFA’s proposals to change the international calendar
He flatly rejected any change in the frequency of the World Cup or continental finals like the Euro, and said rest periods should be determined at the national level.
Swart also said there should be “as limited a change as possible” to the international season breaks.
Representatives of the leagues expressed their views directly to Wenger in a call on Thursday, while FIFA has also been consulting with the coaches of the national teams this week.
Arsene Wenger has proposed that the World Cup be held every two years, among other ideas
However, the director of the European leagues, Jacco Swart, says that the representatives are against the idea.
The renewed opposition from the European leagues comes in a week in which the prospect of the biennial World Cups becoming a reality seemed to wane.
Member associations were expected to vote on the plans at a special FIFA Congress before the end of the year. Instead, FIFA has called a world summit for December 20 in which it hopes to present a “consensus” on the schedule, but probably without a vote.
Reaching a consensus in two months seems ambitious as FIFA President Gianni Infantino described himself as a referee in the middle of a ‘riot’ at a press conference on Wednesday and asked everyone involved to Be ‘calm and rational’.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has called for both sides of the debate to be ‘calm and rational’
Infantino admitted that “everything is open” in terms of what that consensus position might look like.
It is understood that a meeting was held on Friday between UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin, European Club Association President Nasser Al Khelaifi and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.
All their organizations have expressed concern about FIFA’s plans.