The global group of national soccer leagues, along with European clubs and European soccer body UEFA, said Wednesday it will oppose FIFA´s plans to play the men´s World Cup every two years.
“A biennial World Cup would negatively disrupt the football economy and undermine players´ welfare in a calendar that is already overloaded,” the World Leagues Forum said in a statement.
The proposal is believed to be pushed by FIFA´s president, Gianni Infantino, and shaped by its director of global development, Arsène Wenger.
“FIFA´s leadership cannot be able to turn something exceptional into a commonplace event purely to serve their short-term interests,” said the Zurich-based leagues’ group, which includes the most influential leagues in soccer´s five major continents.
Playing every two years would also “dilute the historical and traditional values of a competition that means so much to fans and players,” the leagues said.
Wenger will detail the biennial plans on Thursday after a two-day conference of retired soccer greats hosted by FIFA in Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host nation.
The World Leagues Forum said it “will ensure FIFA is not allowed to make unilateral decisions on the future of football against the interests of leagues, clubs, players and fans.”