World Cup: Fifa to conduct study into holding tournaments every two years after Saudi proposal

·2-min read
<p>The men’s and women’s World Cups are currently held every four years</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

The men’s and women’s World Cups are currently held every four years

(AFP via Getty Images)

The feasability of potentially staging World Cups every two years will be examined by a forthcoming Fifa study following a recent proposal.

The men’s tournament has been held every four years since its inception in 1930 - with the exception of during World War Two - and the women’s competition has also taken place on a quadrennial basis since 1991.

However, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) want Fifa to look into the prospect of making World Cups biennial affairs.

"We believe the future of football is at a critical juncture. The many issues that football has faced have now been further exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic," said SAFF president Yasser Al-Misehal.

"It is time to review how the global game is structured and to consider what is best for the future of our sport. This should include whether the current four-year cycle remains the optimum basis for how football is managed both from a competition and commercial perspective.”

Fifa president Gianni Infantino called it an "eloquent and detailed proposal" at Friday’s annual congress, with 166 national federations voting in favour with 22 voting against.

Speaking after the remote congress, Infantino told reporters that the study would look at the competitions within the context of the review of the overall international match calendar.

"It doesn't matter right now what I think, it matters what results the study is coming up with," he said.

"We have to go into this study with an open mind... we know about the value of the World Cup believe me, we know as well about the impact that the World Cup can have."

But Infantino questioned whether the current system of regular qualifiers throughout a year ahead of a continental championships and World Cups was the best model.

"Do we really think this is the right way for football when we are hearing that fans say they want more meaningful games, less meaningless games, all of these points have to be considered.

"We will discuss it, we will analyse it but we will, in all discussions, put the sporting element as a priority not the commercial element," he said, saying he knew that holding twice as many World Cups would not mean doubling the revenue

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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