The FIFA-UEFA battle on biennial World Cup rises again as the former has stood firm on their proposal while the latter is ready for the next move.
The world football governing body, as expected, stands their ground on the biennial World Cup plan after their so-called 'global summit' last Monday. It is a clear response to UEFA's latest plan on holding the joint Nations League with CONMEBOL in 2024. Both sides are currently showing financial data on the impact of such plan
In the online summit, it is said that biennial World Cup could raise another $4.4 billion revenue for FIFA. Moreover, in their report, the switch could be beneficial for each of their 211 members. Approximately $16 million will be allocated to them in four years, should the plan goes on. Not to mention that additional fund for each federation would be available through FIFA Forward Program.
Furthermore, their report apparently is aligned with Nielsen report. It is believed that their report made a prediction of the fairly attractive rise in the revenue from US$7bn for a 48-team tournament to US$11.4bn in four years. No wonder that Gianni Infantino is confident that his plan has more support than UEFA's opposition for a status quo.
The current FIFA President released his statement in the conference after the summit.
"If I was going to a vote tomorrow, probably the majority would vote in favour of a World Cup every two years. But it is not the topic, we are looking at the entire calendar and how we can make football better and how many we can bring on board with a new way of organising the future in football."
However, UEFA has their backing too. Based on the World League Forum representing 42 domestic leagues around the world, the switch would lead to the potential loss up to $8.5 billion for the leagues per season in commercial deals and TV rights. In addition, the European football governing body also commission a report supported by consultancy firm Oliver & Ohlbaum stating that there would be expected decreasing revenue from $2.8 to 3.4 billion in four years for the entire European football associations.
It is no surprise that the two continental governing bodies where the world cup winners are exclusively from, UEFA and CONMEBOL, have sealed their alliance deal and prepared to move forward with their joint Nations League, presumably starting in 2024. Ten South American nations might be included in the top two divisions of the competition.
Unfortunately, neither plan, biennial World Cup or Joint Nations League, is, as a matter of fact, ideal for the players wellness and the competition balance, no matter how profitable they are financially. The FIFA-UEFA battle shows the lack of understanding and respect, something which the world of football has tried to introduce and spread all over the globe.
There is still a room for a compromise for a better solution. Earlier CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani suggested the old Confederations Cup format with separate qualifiers. Other options such the expanded FIFA Club World Cup or World Cup U23 by collaborating with IOC to raise the profile of international youth football should be potentially viable ones to consider. Now it is all up to Infantino and Co as they hold the key to end this feud.