FIFA President Gianni Infantino has put world football on notice. He asked them to imagine, and perhaps hope for, big changes in their international competitions over the next few years.
FIFA agreed to study whether the men’s and women’s World Cups can be held every two years instead of every four. Infantino asked if it would be possible to alternate these competitions with the continental championships to fill the calendar with national tournaments each year.
Infantino also supported the possibility of talking with clubs about new projects, such as the Super League that shook European football last month with a threat of secession. The reaction led by UEFA quickly ended the plan.
Following some reports, according to which FIFA secretly encouraged big teams to rebel against UEFA and its Champions League, Infantino insisted during a press conference that people “should look at the facts and not listen to rumors or to hallway gossip”.
For more than three months, FIFA has refused to answer specific questions from The Associated Press about its president’s involvement in talks with the clubs that promoted the Superliga, led by Real Madrid.
“Talking with some clubs does not in any way mean that FIFA was colluded or behind or in the planning of any Super League project, in any way,” Infantino stressed on Friday.
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But he stressed that he has never closed the door to conversations about new ideas.
“This is the way I live the FIFA presidency,” said Infantino, who won the election in 2016, as the official UEFA candidate, where he served for years in various positions.
FIFA and UEFA have often had a bad relationship since five years ago, when Infantino changed organization. If the FIFA leader achieves his new ambitions, he would put some European competitions at risk.
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Infantino also took advantage of the online meeting platform between 211 federations that make up FIFA to emphasize that football needs to break the dominance of Europe and South America, on and off the pitch.
“There is a concentration of money and the talent of the players, which does not serve the interests or the global development of the sport,” he warned. “We cannot just ignore this.”
“We do not perceive equal opportunities in the world. We don’t necessarily see too much solidarity either, to be honest.”
Infantino portrayed FIFA as the protector of the world football family, willing to modify competition formats and calendars for the sake of greater fairness.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.