This Monday, December 20, the FIFA presented to its 211 associated federations the project to change the international calendar, which includes the holding of the World Cup every two years and other revolutionary modifications that have already generated great global controversy.
After the virtual summit on the “viability” of the plan in which Arsene Wenger worked as leader, a press conference was held in which the French coach and FIFA president Gianni Infantino delved into the possibilities of the changes.
According to Nielsen and Open Economics, two of the most important international consulting firms, the economic impact of a World Cup every two years will be remarkable. FIFA presented its members with a report stating that a Biennial World Cup would mean an increase of $ 4.4 billion in income. What’s more, gross domestic product (GDP) would grow by more than $ 180 billion over 16 years.
According to Infantino, the economic benefits of the proposal are undeniable and will serve to “better distribute” the profits among all members: “Right now, seventy percent of football’s income goes to UEFA and the rest to the other 155 countries. With the new proposal, the balance will change and it will be 40-60%., but with the particularity that UEFA will receive two billion more. That is, even if your percentage drops, your income will go up. It is money that will cut differences between the richest and the poorest, also in the large confederations. “
One of the big doubts about the plan is the possibility that the most prestigious tournament in the world will lose its appeal, something that FIFA rules out outright. Wenger stated on this: “90 per cent of the opposition is emotional, but we must shake off the fear. It is about developing football in the world. FIFA remains firmly committed to the future of football and by creating, through our tournaments, a competitive environment that delivers on our promise to give all talents a chance. We want to update the international match calendar to promote and improve football, but always respecting all interest groups, something that begins with the players themselves, hence the inclusion of a mandatory rest period “.
A few months ago, Infantino visited South America and received the concerns of the leaders of the continent. According to the Swiss, they expressed the The need to maintain the Playoffs format, something that will be included in the plan. “When Conmebol proposed that I do a World Cup every two years it seemed like a bad idea, but now it seems to me that it is the best. We have studied it well and we all come out winning, especially the federations. I am sure that the project will come true and that will be launched. “
Although they did not want to confirm whether it will be voted in the next Congress, in March 2022, the first estimates indicate that FIFA has the necessary votes to approve it, since except in Europe and South America, there is almost unanimous agreement on the general guidelines. On the opposition on the two strongest continents, the president stated: “I’m sure you will change your mind when you study in depth the economic studies that we have presented to you today.”
Beyond the fact that the economic aspect is undoubtedly its main argument, FIFA published several polls in which a majority support of the fans is seen and Infantino deepened by stating that the young public is the one that is most enthusiastic about the change.