FIFA’s project to change the football calendar to hold the World Cup every two years, instead of four more, would also change the frequency of continental tournaments for teams such as the Euro Cup and Copa America. The plan is for these competitions to take place in odd years, also in a biennial format, so that every summer in the Northern Hemisphere (between June and July) there is an official championship.
The Cups would take place in even years and continental ones in odd ones – FIFA’s idea is that the competitions of all six confederations would be scheduled for the middle of the year, even the African one, which normally takes place in January.
This has already generated noise between the international federation and Uefa (European Football Union) and Conmebol (South American Football Confederation). The South Americans, despite having held four Copa America in the last six years, have recently adjusted their calendar so that this competition takes place simultaneously with the Euro Cup, in even years without a Cup. The next edition is scheduled for 2024, probably in Ecuador, and the next one would only be in 2028.
The column found that Uefa and Conmebol turn up their noses, at this time, for the Cup project every two years, mainly because they would be forced to adjust the dates of their continental ones. The Europeans have recently created a second national team competition, the League of Nations, which already has sponsors tied up and is played on FIFA dates that do not have qualifiers, be it the Euro or the Cup.
In recent months, Conmebol has signed partnerships with Uefa, and the change in the frequency of the Copa América (previously biennial and triennial) was in line with the prospect of partners together with the Europeans.
For FIFA, the new football calendar would have the summer in the northern hemisphere, between June and July, reserved for official tournaments for national teams. Another two months of the year, or even less, would be reserved for the teams to play in the Qualifiers, with the rest of the dates free for the clubs. In this way, the organization thinks it will have the support of the giant teams from Spain, England, Germany, France and Italy for its project, which could isolate the command from the confederations.
As the blog showed, FIFA attacks on several fronts to see its proposal succeed: the smaller affiliated federations are promised a greater chance of going to a World Cup final stage and a greater relay in choosing venues. To players, the idea that several professionals are losing the chance to compete in the World Cup at the height of their career with the current hiatus of four years.
The board of the international federation wants to create a commission with players and former players who travel the world defending the biennial Cup — ambassador for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Brazilian Cafu is considered to be part of the group.
the new calendar
The World Cup and continentals every two years would be another piece in the organizational change FIFA plans for football after 2024. for national team games and the rest for national and continental club competitions, as well as holidays.
There would be fewer FIFA-dates, currently distributed in nine days for five months a year, but which would be compensated with the World Cup every two years after 2026, an edition that will be divided between the USA, Canada and Mexico. It could be the end, or at least the lessening, of tensions between federations and clubs over the release of players to national teams, such as those now taking place in September. Some leagues, such as the English one, vetoed athletes from traveling to the qualifiers in South America, claiming that the quarantines required because of the covid-19 would jeopardize the use of those called up on their return.
CAF, the African confederation, has already signaled that it can support the Biennial Cup as a bloc if it enters the agenda of a future Congress — 56 of the 211 possible votes would already be guaranteed. In recent weeks, federations in Asia, such as Nepal and Bangladesh, have shown themselves in favor and FIFA is betting that smaller associations of Concacaf (Confederation of North America, Central and Caribbean) should also position themselves in favor soon.
The proposal was presented by the federation of Saudi Arabia, at the Congress held virtually at the end of May. In fact, a bureaucratic act, since the movement to analyze the idea came from the group led by Wenger, but which needed a federation to pay for it. If the commission created gives a positive opinion, approval via Congress will be required, with a vote from the 211 member federations – they are annual meetings, held between May and June and the next one will be in 2022.