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FIFA to proceed with biannual World Cup plan despite opposition

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
FIFA's plans have been widely criticised
FIFA's plans have been widely criticised / Stuart Franklin/GettyImages

FIFA have informed national federations that they intend to go ahead with holding the World Cup every two years, despite widespread opposition to the idea.

The plans, which have been publically fronted by Arsene Wenger, also include a shortening of the qualification process as well as a reduction in the amount of international breaks held during the club season.

As reported by El Larguero, FIFA outlined their intention to increase the frequency of the tournament during a meeting with various national teams on Tuesday.

In their presentation they argued that the reforms would actually decrease player fatigue, using a number of examples from recent years to illustrate their point.

For instance, by FIFA's calculations Lionel Messi traveled a total of 324,569km for footballing reasons between 2014 and 2018. If he was playing under their new conditions between 2026 and 2030, he would have only clocked up 157,348km.

As well as supposedly decreasing travel time, FIFA also foresee the number of international games decreasing overall. Currently, UEFA nations play 44 matches each four-year cycle. FIFA plan to decrease this by one under the new plans, while South American teams will experience a more dramatic easing of fixture commitments.

Another key proposal is the condensing of games into a maximum of two international breaks, proposed to take place in October and March.

Alternatively, the former could be designated as qualification month, with a maximum of seven qualifiers to be played over a 28-day period.

FIFA's proposals are far from universally backed, even if the confederation do seem set to proceed with the changes. UEFA have voiced opposition to the idea and a string of high-profile footballing figures, including Jurgen Klopp, have also been critical.