FIFA's plan to hold the World Cup every two years “has received a ‘very positive response’” during a meeting with around 80 former players and coaches this week in Qatar, according to Simon Evans of REUTERS. Former Brazil star Ronaldo “expressed his support for the idea” during a video conference with FIFA Chief of Global Football Development Arsene Wenger, who is “fronting the proposals.” Former Denmark player Peter Schmeichel said that “none of the players who had attended the discussion had been against the idea of moving to a two-year cycle rather than the current four-year gap.” Evans reports Wenger’s plans have "been opposed" by both UEFA and the World Leagues Forum, which reps main domestic club competitions. LaLiga President Javier Tebas “is the latest European football figure to come out against the plans.” Tebas said, “A biennial World Cup is a threat not just to domestic football leagues but to the overall tradition of world football.” Wenger indicated that a decision on the “next steps for the proposal could be taken by FIFA as early as December” (REUTERS, 9/9).
SPACE IN THE CALENDAR: In London, Melissa Reddy reports FIFA “strongly believes that the vacant off-seasons are going to attract the advent of new competitions or meaningless games” and that it “makes more sense to them to rather hold an established contest that can benefit more nations around the world through this greater regularity.” While UEFA and European leagues have expressed “staunch opposition” to the concept, there is “great support” from national associations. More than 75% of those organizations “have backed research into the switch.” However, the “real motivation” is that there is “mega money to be made from upping the number of World Cups” (London INDEPENDENT, 9/9).