Premier League and EFL say World Cup every two years would ‘harm’ club game

·2-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

The Premier League and the EFL today spelt out their opposition to a World Cup every two years, saying the proposal would “harm” domestic football.

FIFA’s plan to halve the current gap between the tournaments has received a hostile reception from clubs.

Today, the European Leagues group, which the two English competitions are part of, voiced their concerns.

A statement from the group read: "The leagues have firmly and unanimously opposed any proposals to organise the FIFA World Cup every two years.

"The leagues will work together with the other stakeholders to prevent football governing bodies to take unilateral decisions that will harm domestic football which is the foundation of our industry and of utmost importance for clubs, players and fans across Europe and the world.

"New competitions, revamped competitions or expanded competitions for club and national team football both at continental level and/or at global level are not the solutions to the current problems of our game in an already congested calendar.

"The football calendar definitely requires the agreement of all stakeholders and can only be the result of a subtle balance between club and national team football and between domestic and international club football."

In May, FIFA Congress agreed to a feasibility study into the calendar change, after it was requested by the Saudi Arabian football federation.

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, now FIFA’s head of global development, is consulting across the game about the plans, which are likely to be voted on in December.

Football Supporters Europe wrote to UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin last week about their misgivings regarding the plans, and the European football chief replied to express his own "grave concerns".

The European Club Association (ECA) said earlier this week that consultation was key, with its new chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the chairman of Paris Saint-Germain, saying it was crucial that no "unilateral" decisions were made.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Wednesday he hoped a decision would be made by the world governing body’s member associations by the end of the year.

Additional reporting by PA

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