FIFA to consider holding World Cup every 2 years instead of 4
FIFA will conduct a "feasibility study" to determine whether it can hold the men's and women's World Cup every two years instead of the usual four, the organization said Friday.
The Saudi Arabian Football Federation tabled the proposal during the 71st FIFA Congress, with 166 member associations voting in favor of the motion and 22 voting against it.
The men's World Cup has been staged every four years since 1950 and the women's since 1991.
Calls for a biennial World Cup are nothing new. Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter pushed a similar proposal in 1999 amid fierce backlash. UEFA argued the European Championships, which run two years after each World Cup, would lose value, while clubs expressed fears over the additional burden on players.
FIFA has already expanded the 2026 World Cup to 48 teams, with a total of 80 games. It also has plans to launch an annual 24-team Club World Cup. The changes are the brainchild of current president Gianni Infantino, who succeeded Blatter in 2016.
On Friday, Infantino swatted away concerns that a biennial World Cup would become repetitive.
"Every year in England you have 380 games where the same teams are participating year by year, and it's very exciting and everyone is very happy with the Premier League," Infantino told reporters. "So I don't think the repetitive element would be (harmful) because (the World Cup) is even more successful."
The 51-year-old has also been accused of backing the European Super League. The breakaway project - which drew widespread condemnation from fans, players, and politicians - collapsed within 48 hours of its announcement in April.
Infantino denied colluding with clubs but admitted he consulted "some" teams about the unpopular proposal.
"To listen to some clubs and speak with some clubs, it doesn't certainly mean that in any way FIFA was behind, was colluding, or was plotting for any Super League project. No," the Swiss-Italian added.