South America’s continental governing body has been the latest to condemn FIFA’s calls for a biennial World Cup.
CONMEBOL, the South America Football Confederation, has backflipped on the issue after initially supporting the idea, claiming it is a “highly unviable” idea.
The statement comes following a technical analysis and consultation with football leaders in South America.
The statement issued by CONMEBOL raised a range of issues with the proposal, including strain on players.
“A World Cup every two years could distort the most important football competition on the planet, lowering its quality and undermining its exclusive character and its current demanding standards,” the statement read.
“The World Cup is an event that attracts the attention and expectations of billions of people because it represents the culmination of a process of elimination that lasts the entire four-year period and has its own dynamics and appeal.
“A World Cup every two years would represent an overload that is practically impossible to manage in the international competition calendar. In the current conditions, it is already complex to harmonise times, schedules, logistics, adequate preparation of equipment and commitments. The situation would be extremely difficult with the proposed change. It could even put the quality of other tournaments, both club and national, at risk.”
Other than the risks to players, CONMEBOL suggested that a biennial event would detract from the occasion.
“The idea of the World Cup is to bring together the most talented footballers, the most outstanding coaches and the most trained referees to determine, in a fair competition, which is the best team on the planet. This cannot be achieved without proper preparation, without teams developing their skills and coaches designing and implementing strategies,” it said.
“All of this translates into time, training sessions, planning, games. CONMEBOL defends the search for excellence in the field of play and is committed to increasingly competitive events of the highest quality. There is no sporting justification for shortening the period between World Cups.
“For the approval of a change of this nature, a broad and participatory process of consultations with all the actors involved is essential. It must be the fruit of a frank debate, in which all opinions and criteria are considered. CONMEBOL is and will always be open to dialogue that seeks the best for football.”
FIFA is seemingly determined to move forward with its plans for a biennial World Cup, despite ongoing opposition.