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European Leagues against biennial World Cup as FIFA ramp up campaign


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The body representing Europe's major competitions has voiced its opposition to the procession to make the World Cup a biennial event.

Earlier this year, a majority of 166 to 22 of FIFA delegates voted in favour of a feasibility study into staging world football's showpiece tournament every two years.

That feasibility study has turned into an all-out PR campaign in favour of the move, with several former players - part of FIFA's 'Legends' program - all recommending the proposal.

But European Leagues, whose board of directors includes members of the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga, have shared their concern with the idea.

"On this occasion, the Leagues have firmly and unanimously opposed any proposals to organise the FIFA World Cup every two years," a European Leagues statement read.

"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," they added.

Speaking in Doha on Wednesday, FIFA president Gianni Infantino again proffered his reasons for cutting the gap between World Cups in half.

"There are too many meaningless matches," he claimed.

Despite support from many footballing backwaters, FIFA and Infantino are facing stern opposition from those who would be providing players for his biennial World Cups.

Of the 736 players selected for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, 543 (73.7%) plied their trade in Europe. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) was the next highest contributor with 82.

European Leagues added, "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."

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Arsene Wenger EFL European Leagues FIFA Fifa World Cup Gianni Infantino Premier League World Cup

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