FIFA president Gianni Infantino likened the proposal of staging the World Cup every two years to the Super Bowl and Wimbledon, saying on Tuesday that such a plan would not take away from the event's "magic."
Under Infantino's guidance, FIFA has been pushing a campaign with former players and coaches (Brazil's Ronaldo and France's Arsene Wenger are among them) to build support for a biennial World Cup, which would need approval by FIFA's Congress of 211 member nations.
Despite heavy pushback from players, clubs, national teams and fans, Infantino doubled down on his support of the idea on Tuesday.
"A World Cup with 48 teams (from 2026) has already been decided. Whether it will take place every two years or four years, that is under consultation," Infantino told Reuters on Tuesday. "Definitely believe in having more prestigious events, whether the World Cup or anything else. ...Precisely because it is a magic tournament is perhaps why it should happen more often.
"The prestige of an event depends on its quality, not its frequency. You have the Super Bowl every year, Wimbledon or the Champions League every year, and everyone is excited and waiting for it."
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has previously stated that Europe could boycott the World Cup if it was held every two years after FIFA snubbed the association's request to hold talks over the matter. The European Club Association, which was blindsided early this year by the Super League proposal, also heavily criticized the plan.
With the 2022 World Cup taking place in November and December and the 2026 World Cup expanding from 32 to 48 teams, the World Cup of years past may become just that: a thing of the past.
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