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FIFA agrees to look into holding World Cup every 2 years


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FIFA has agreed to engage in a feasibility study into staging the World Cup every two years. 

The proposal was brought before the 71st FIFA Congress by the Football Association of Saudi Arabia.

A majority of 166 to 22 delegates voted in favour of exploring the idea of cutting the gap between each men's and women's World Cup in half.

Outside of World War II, the men's edition of the World Cup has been held every four-years since 1930. The Women's World Cup has also been a quadrennial event since its inception in 1991.

The notion of cutting the time between Women's World Cups is not a new one to FIFA president, Gianni Infantino.

Speaking at last year's FIFA Congress regarding the potential growth of the women's game, he said, "We don’t want to copy what the men are doing.

"We want something specific for the women’s game. We need to think about different suggestions.

“Finals between confederations, [finals] on a continental level every two years, maybe even a World Cup every two years rather than four. To have a Club World Cup for the women’s game. We need to think about it, we need to get those creative juices flowing.”

Addressing this year's Congress, Saudi Football Federation president Yasser Al Misehal said, "We believe the future of football is at a critical juncture.

Results on vote on feasibility study into staging the World Cup every two years.

"The many issues football have face for a number of years have been further exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic and global crisis.

"It is time to review how the global game is structured, and to consider what is best for the future of our sport.

"This should include whether the current four-year cycle remains the optimum basis for how football is managed, both from a competition and commercial prospective as well as in terms of overall football development.

"We must take into consideration the discussion required regarding the future of the men's and women's international match calendars, and how any changes facilitated through these discussions will impact all of FIFA's 211 member associations.

"It is therefore proposed that a decision taken by the FIFA Congress to mandate the FIFA administration to perform a feasibility study on what impact of playing FIFA World Cup, and the FIFA Women's World Cup every two years could be, and how this could feature with a revised international match calendar.

"A wide-reaching analysis is suggested, looking not only at the direct impact on both the FIFA World Cup and the FIFA Women's World Cup taking place every two years, but also considering the qualifying competitions for these tournaments.

"Having fewer, yet more competitive national team matches could potentially address concerns regarding player welfare whilst, at the same time, enhancing the value and merits of such competitions."

Earlier this year, Infantino was on a charm offensive in Saudi Arabia.

He's faced questions over his relationship with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who has been linked with the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Infantino also appeared in a promotional video for Saudi tourism.

"I’m the president of FIFA and as such I have to look at football and what football can do and the role football can play in society," Infantino said when pressed on the Saudi visit.

He added, "Our position at FIFA has always been, and will always be, engagement and dialogue is the only and the best way forward to make changes happen."

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FIFA Fifa World Cup Gianni Infantino Saudi Arabia

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