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Fifa convenes a summit, the sling is organized

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Fifa will hold a summit on December 20 to consider their controversial proposal to host a World Cup every two years. An idea that is far from achieving consensus.

The project is not yet recorded, that it is already generating debate. The International Football Federation (Fifa) announced Wednesday, October 20 the convening of a summit, December 20, to discuss the project of the biennial World. An idea that comes up against the reluctance of European football, between billions of euros of estimated loss of earnings, according to a report commissioned by UEFA, and threats of “action” from Nordic federations.

Fifa, which met its Council on Wednesday, continues its consultations. For the moment, there is no question of convening a General Assembly to vote on this controversial project. Place, initially, in “a global virtual summit”, next December 20, with the national federations, “to discuss the future of football after having been informed in detail of the consultation process underway on the subject” .

In a statement, the president of the body Gianni Infantino explained that he wanted to “reach a consensus for the benefit of all” but sees in this summit “the opportunity to present a plan”.

>> To reread: Biennial World Cup: “Let football be truly global” (Infantino, Fifa)

After several weeks of controversy around the upheavals suggested by Fifa, the opposition indeed seems to be hardening, especially in Europe, whose Confederation, UEFA, is standing up against this reform of the international calendar.

This notably envisages the organization of men’s and women’s World Cups every two years, instead of the usual quadrennial rhythm, which would imply the holding of a selection competition each year, and the tightening of international windows. A full report from Fifa is expected in November.

Representatives of national championships from around the world, supporters and players joined this sling, like the Norwegian Ada Hegerberg, Ballon d’Or 2018 and the voice of women’s football, who castigates in an interview with the ‘AFP a project designed “without consideration” for the players.

Box office losses and TV rights

According to an internal source at UEFA, a report commissioned by the European confederation estimates between 2.5 and 3 billion euros over four years the shortfall of the European federations if the project were adopted.

UEFA presented the findings of this study to the leaders of its 55 member federations on Tuesday. This report does not take into account the possible additional shortfall for the national championships, specify Le Monde and L’Équipe, who have revealed the content of the document.

For UEFA, the scenario suggested by Fifa risks causing losses related to ticketing, TV rights and sponsors, detail Le Monde and L’Équipe, because broadcasters and partner companies are likely to prefer a regular soap opera. throughout the year rather than a one-off meeting with less visibility.

According to Le Monde, the League of Nations, a competition newly created by UEFA in which France is the title holder, would also disappear.

For FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who is continuing consultations with players in the football world, his project would, on the contrary, lead to better benefits for the federations.

“No consideration for the players”

A perspective criticized by Ada Hegerberg, the first female Ballon d’Or in history, who rejects any purely financial approach.

“Adding World Cups to earn more money is an idea that is wrong with the current situation,” she told AFP, fearing an increased risk of injury. “Those who make the decisions are not on the pitch and have no regard for the players,” said the Norwegian, who herself is coming back from a long injury.

The Nordic football federations, “firmly opposed to the idea of ​​biennial World Cups”, even went further on Wednesday, promising to examine possible “actions” if this project is ever successful.

“If a majority within Fifa decides to adopt a proposal for biennial World Cups, the Nordic federations will have to consider new actions and scenarios that are more in line with our fundamental values,” read a statement. common published by these six UEFA member federations (Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden).

With AFP

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