FIFA President Infantino:


FIFA President Infantino: "There are too many meaningless matches"

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FIFA President Gianni Infantino believes there are "too many meaningless" international matches. 

He was speaking in the noted football stronghold of Doha where he is continuing to beat the drum for his biennial World Cup plan.

It's in Qatar where Infantino and his gang of FIFA 'Legends' are partaking in the latest leg of a feasibility study looking into staging the World Cup every two years.

Earlier this year,  an overwhelming majority of FIFA members voted in favour of conducting the feasibility study.

Several of those members of the FIFA 'Legends' program - Javier Mascherano and Yaya Touré among them - have spoken in favour of the idea.

FIFA's director of international development - Arsene Wenger - has been the loudest proponent of the idea, telling L'Équipe last week, "What people want today are high-stakes, easy-to-understand competitions".

But the proposal has received significant push-back, most notably from UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

In a letter to Football Supporters Europe executive director Ronan Evain, Ceferin said, "UEFA and its national associations also have serious reservations and grave concerns surrounding reports of FIFA’s plans.

Meanwhile, the World Leagues Forum - which oversees all professional leagues - said, "The World Cup... is a unique sporting event.

"FIFA's leadership cannot be able to turn something exceptional into a commonplace event purely to serve their short-term interests."

But Infantino is determined to press on.

"I think that the status quo of the international match calendar shows us that we have reached some limits," he said.

"The current release period for national team football in this particular period, exacerbated by the COVID situation, shows us how difficult it is today for players to travel from one country to another, from one continent to another, to start the season typically in Europe, to stop the season to go and play for the national team, to come back and play a few games, to go again, to stop and go to a different continent, to a different time zone.

"It's not good for the health of the players, it's not good for the competitions. There are too many meaningless matches.

"We need to look into what more can be done. We have to have a system which is simple and is clear, which everyone understands."

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