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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

European Club Body Opposes Biennial World Cup

  • The European Club Association issued a statement pushing back against FIFA's proposal to host the World Cup every two years.
  • UEFA and CONMEBOL also both oppose the idea.
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FIFA/Design: Alex Brooks

FIFA’s push to double the frequency of the World Cup to every two years has provoked pushback across Europe.

The European Club Association, a body representing 234 clubs, issued a statement on Friday condemning the proposal and efforts to promote it.

“FIFA’s proposals would lead to a direct and destructive impact on the club game, both domestically and internationally,” the ECA said. “In addition, the proposals would put players’ health and wellbeing at risk.”

The ECA said that FIFA was trying to “railroad” the idea, and that it would “dilute the value and meaning of club and country competitions” and “diminish and conflict with women’s and youth football.”

European soccer’s governing body, UEFA, and South America’s, CONMEBOL, also oppose the idea. UEFA oversees the Euro Cup every four years, which is timed to fall in between World Cups. Both organizations have threatened to boycott extra World Cups.

  • The World Cup is by far FIFA’s biggest revenue driver.
  • The organization earned $6.4 billion from 2017-2020, over 70% of which came in 2018 when Russia hosted the quadrennial tournament.

The World Cup cost Russia an estimated $14 billion, but added a reported $15 billion to its economy.

Qatar expects a $20 billion economic boost from hosting the 2022 World Cup.

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