After Arsène Wenger launched the idea of a biennial World Cup, several significant voices pledged their support.
World champion captain Lothar Matthaeus (Germany) and former Golden Shoe winner Gary Lineker (England) were behind the idea, followed by CAF President Patrice Motsepe, President of the Royal Morocco Football Federation, Fouzi Lekjaa and other voices from all over Africa .
This was announced in a press release distributed on Friday by the APO group on behalf of CAJ News Africa.
The prospect of hosting the World Cup more frequently continues to grow, with Nigerian Football Association president Amaju Pinnick adding his voice among supporters.
“It is a fact that competition at the highest level is helping the less developed countries level up,” said President Pinnick.
“It increases their experience and helps them learn from mistakes. It is also an important way of getting a country and its key stakeholders behind a goal; including fans, sports authorities and also governments. When people see that a result is achievable, that it is realistic and that everyone can seriously work for it.
“Since the World Cup takes place every four years, the opportunity to have this experience is too rare and spread over too long. Generations of gamers may miss a decision on an incident, sometimes because of a game. Anyone who loses the first two games of a qualifying phase knows that they have missed their chance for at least the next six or seven years! ”
Traditionalists might be loyal to the view that World Cups take place every four years, but Pinnick challenges them to be thought leaders.
“The World Championship is held every four years for historical reasons related to the Olympic cycle,” added Pinnick. This has been the case for almost 100 years. We cannot stop and say: “It has always been like this, so it should stay that way”. To say that is absurd. We can add another month every four years to organize the most beautiful competition in the world and find ways to protect the players, clubs, leagues, federations and the interests of the Confederation, and that is neither irrational nor absurd.
“That makes sense in every way. The biannual World Cup will not lose its prestige and the global audience will still pause to see the spectacle. People have to leave their comfort zone. The world is moving at an incredible speed and football has to adapt.
The quality and appetite for great competition doesn’t come from the fact that it’s rare. The FIFA Confederations Cup was held every four years and was not really significant. On the other hand, we have AFCON every two years and Africa stops to see it with incredible passion. And we can still play it every two years! ”
At the 71st FIFA Congress in May 2021, 166 associations voted to propose a feasibility study to halve the traditional four-year cycle of flagship tournaments for men and women. Pinnick looks forward to the results and calls on some reluctant European voices to unite with the rest of the world.
“I would definitely like to see the results of the feasibility study that FIFA was commissioned to carry out by 166 countries, including many Europeans,” continued Pinnick.
“The European association shouldn’t be afraid to join the rest of the world. This is a great opportunity for so many less developed countries and it is time for Europe to show real solidarity with Africa. I know that Arsène Wenger is leading an extensive consultation, listening to everyone involved, including players, coaches and fans, associations and confederations.
“I am ready and willing to participate in this consultation and I believe that the reorganization of the international game calendar is extremely important to advance the development of men’s, women’s and youth football in Africa and around the world.”