FIFA’s plans for a world Cup biennials would have a “direct and disruptive impact on club football,” Europe’s leading team organization said on Friday.
The European Club Association (ECA) said FIFA’s approach to reforming the international fixture list is a “direct and unilateral violation of certain legal obligations”, echoing the rejection by UEFA, the governing body of European football, the proposals.
ECA, which represents 234 European teams, did not say what obligations it referred to, but the organization made a series of agreements with UEFA and FIFA regarding the calendar.
“Football clubs have always been a fundamental and respected voice in shaping the future of the IMC (International Match Calendar). They are the foundation of football, being the driving force behind competitions; the main hub and home to player development and investment. ; and the heart of the fans and their local communities,” said ECA.
“That’s why the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which governs the relationship between ECA and FIFA, puts the IMC at its center. This MoU between the clubs and FIFA was agreed upon after detailed negotiations and a joint proposal on the IMC , in addition to the processes that govern the IMC,” added the entity.
FIFA is carrying out a feasibility study on holding the World Cup every two years, a change from the current four-year cycle, and does not hide its desire to adopt such a format.
Arsène Wenger, a former Arsenal coach and now FIFA’s head of Global Football Development, said this month he is “100% convinced” of the benefits of the move.
ECA said it was willing to debate a “modernized” calendar, but complained about a lack of consultation by FIFA.
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