Premier League: All 20 clubs oppose controversial idea for biennial World Cup tournaments

·2-min read
 (Getty Images for Premier League)
(Getty Images for Premier League)

Premier League clubs are "unanimously opposed" to FIFA’s plans to reorganise the match calendar from 2024, which would include biennial World Cups.

The world governing body is conducting a feasibility study into holding the men’s and women’s World Cups every two years from 2028 as part of a radical reorganisation of the football calendar.

The plans are the brainchild of former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, now FIFA’s chief of global football development, who has insisted they will reduce the strain on players and lead to more meaningful top-level matches.

Under the proposals, all international qualifiers would also be played in one block during October.

All 20 top-flight clubs believe the plans are concerning for player welfare and would negatively impact the fan experience, pre-season preparations and the quality of competitions.

In a statement following the latest shareholders’ meeting of clubs, the Premier League said: "All 20 Premier League clubs have discussed the post-2024 International Match Calendar reform process and are unanimously opposed to FIFA’s proposal for biennial men’s World Cups, along with any plans involving significantly extended international windows.

"Clubs raised concerns about the negative impacts FIFA’s current proposals would have on player welfare, the fan experience, pre-season preparations and the quality of competitions."

European governing body UEFA and all other top European leagues are also opposed to the plans, which are set to be subject to a vote from the 211 countries recognised by FIFA.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said the English top flight was "open to reform and new ideas" but only ones which would improve the game.

Masters said: “The Premier League is committed to preventing any radical changes to the post-2024 FIFA International Match Calendar that would adversely affect player welfare and threaten the competitiveness, calendar, structures and traditions of domestic football.

“We are open to reforms and new ideas, but they must enhance the complementary balance between domestic and international football in order to improve the game at all levels. This process should also involve meaningful agreements with the leagues that provide the foundations for the game. We will continue to work with supporter groups, players, domestic and international stakeholders to find solutions that are in the best interests of football’s long-term future.”

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