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‘Biennial World Cup will dilute historical, traditional values of tournament’

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The World Leagues Forum (WLF) has expressed their rejection of the idea of a biennial World Cup being pushed for by world football governing body, FIFA.

FIFA is currently undertaking a consultation process around holding the men’s and women’s tournament every two years rather than the usual once every four years.

While a few stakeholders, including the Confederation of African Football (CAF), have exhoed their support for the move, others have spoken against it.

The WLF, the association of professional football leagues, has taken the path of rejection as well as the European football body, UEFA.

WLF say holding the tournament biennially would “dilute the historical and traditional values” of the World Cup.

“A biennial World Cup would negatively disrupt the football economy and undermine players’ welfare in a calendar that is already overloaded,” read the World Leagues Forum’s statement.

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“As the employers of players and developers of the game at domestic level, leagues request full and transparent discussions so that the football calendar – which requires a complementary balance between club matches and national teams – can be agreed upon by all parties involved to benefit the game at all levels over the long term.

“Working together with all football stakeholders, the World Leagues Forum will ensure Fifa is not allowed to make unilateral decisions on the future of football against the interests of leagues, clubs, players and fans.”

The men’s World Cup has been held every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 because of World War Two.

The women’s tournament has also been every four years since it began in 1991.

The consultation process around holding it every two years is being led by former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who is now chief of global football development at Fifa.

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