LEAGUES OPPOSE FIFA’S 2022 WCUP EXPANSION PLANS
TOP leagues across Europe are opposedto Fifa’s expansion plans forthe 2022 World Cup and future editionsof the Club World Cup, the EuropeanLeagues president Lars-ChristerOlsson has said.
Fifa plan to expand the World Cupfrom 32 teams to 48 for the 2026tournament, but the global governingbody’s president Gianni Infantino hassaid he was open to introducing theproposal at the 2022 finals in Qatar.
The European Leagues, an umbrellagroup for 32 professional leagues andassociations from 25 European countries,are against the proposed expansion,which would add extra days andmatches to the event.
“We are not prepared to make anychanges on the calendar for expandingthe 2022 World Cup,” Olsson told
The Times in Britain.
“We have already been flexible toallow the World Cup to be played inthe winter and have agreed the dates,and we are not prepared for the durationof the World Cup to be anylonger.”
In 2015, Fifa announced that the2022 World Cup would be staged inthe last two months of the year in aneffort to avoid issues arising from theextreme heat in Qatar during June-July,forcing most leagues to heavily adjusttheir calendars.
World soccer’s governing body arelikely to decide on the expansion planfor 2022 during the next Fifa congressin June.
Infantino also previously said thatseveral companies were interested inexpanding the Club World Cup fromit’s current eight-team format to agrander 24-team event.
“Fifa seems to be on an expansiondrive. It’s time people thought aboutthe players — they need time to rest.It cannot just be money deciding howfootball should be organised,” Olsonsaid. — Reuters.