Used to be a croupier on various cruise ships
It never quite feels right when there isn’t some controversy happening in the world of soccer. From the proposed European Super League to the implementation of VAR, there is almost always something grabbing the headlines. At present, the headlines are being drowned by the ongoing discussion about a biennial World Cup. Naturally, this idea has garnered some support but it has also attracted plenty of opposition and criticism as well.
The purists of the sport believe that having a World Cup every two years will not only put far more strain on the players but it will also tarnish the prestige of the tournament as well. If anything, the sentiment of many league coaches and former players (let alone the fans) has been that there are already too many unnecessary games that mean nothing. Friendlies that amount to nothing but more chances for players to be injured and another tournament in the Nations League that is still quite young in the grand scheme of things.
While there is no doubt going to be a continued wave of opposition to the idea of a World Cup every two years, FIFA have and will always do exactly what they want to do. However, there are some major names in the sport that are actually backing the idea and have put forward some compelling points about why this proposition should be allowed to happen in the near future.
Some of the key factors that have been pointed out revolve around the financial benefits of a biennial World Cup (of course). If they aren’t already seen as a money hungry organization, that sentiment will surely be hammered home now for even the most understanding of supporters.
With that said, research has been done into the impact of a World Cup being hosted every two years with regards to the financial benefits. Firstly, the overall revenue of the World Cup would be boosted from £5.3 billion to £8.6 billion which would be a £3.3 billion increase over every four-year cycle. Not only will the revenue for the World Cup be increased but it has also been predicted that a World Cup every two-years will increase the global GDP by £136 billion over a 16-year period, creating 2 million jobs in the process.
At the end of the day, FIFA were always going to need the majority backing of the fans for this proposal to ever really gain any traction at all. That is why they conducted a survey of 100,000 fans across 140 different countries to try and gauge what the overall feeling was towards the idea. It came as no surprise that the biggest opposition to the idea came from fans in England, Germany and France. The biggest clubs are a part of these leagues, especially Germany and England and more international football would no doubt hamper the performance of fans’ clubs in these leagues. Only 10% of fans were on board with the idea in England while the whole of Europe only had a minority 48% behind the idea.
The biggest support came from continents like Asia and Africa who would be far more interested in seeing their national teams given more of a chance to participate in the tournament.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino maintains that the younger fanbase are very much behind the idea and that is why they thought to propose the biennial World Cup in the first place. The hope is that this new format will not only increase the overall quality of international soccer but that it will also keep the attention of the impatient youth.
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