South American football’s governing body CONMEBOL hit out at FIFA proposals to stage the World Cup every two years on Friday, saying there was “no sporting justification” for shortening the window between tournaments.
In a strongly worded statement which echoed opposition to the proposals by European football’s ruling body UEFA, CONMEBOL said holding the World Cup every two years would diminish the quality of the tournament.
“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,” CONMEBOL said.
“(It) would represent an overload that is practically impossible to manage in the international competition calendar.
“In the current conditions, it is already complex to harmonize 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.
“There is no sporting justification for shortening the period between World Cups.”
CONMEBOL said that although it had previously been open to holding the World Cup more frequently, technical analysis had show that the proposals were “highly unviable.”
“Therefore, under current conditions, it ratifies its support for the current World Cup model, with its terms and classification mechanisms, considering it consistent with the spirit that animated those who conceived and founded this competition,” the statement said.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino promised this week there would be decisions by the end of the year on the proposed World Cup overhaul, which is part of a move to cut out what he called “too many meaningless matches”.
However the FIFA proposals have drawn broad opposition across football, with UEFA chief Aleksander Ceferin saying the plan would “dilute” the World Cup and the World Leagues Forum saying it would “undermine” player welfare.