KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: FIFA’s decision to step back from the ‘nonsense’ of a World Cup every two years has been welcomed by Aleksander Ceferin, president of European federation UEFA.

The world governing body had eagerly embraced the potential cash cow of a biennial World Cup after the concept was promoted by the happily complicit Saudi Arabian FA at FIFA congress last year.

Arsene Wenger, the former Arsenal manager who had been brought on board by FIFA as technical development director, promoted the idea enthusiastically amid a package of proposals to upgrade the international match calendar.

Wenger even spoke up in expectation that FIFA would stage an extraordinary congress last December to approve the switch.

Instead, fierce opposition from UEFA, South American confederation CONMEBOL, players’ unions and fans left FIFA president Gianni Infantino with no option last month but to backtrack at congress in Doha.

Ceferin approved the volte-face after a meeting of UEFA’s executive committee.

He said: “We are happy that this is finally off the table. Formally it was not proposed by FIFA but it was encouraged by FIFA. Now it is good that they have listened to the football community. I don’t think there’s much time for any new competitions.

“For me it’s good that this project that is more or less a nonsense is off the table.”

Ceferin said UEFA will take a decision shortly on a Russian national team’s scheduled presence at the Women’s Euro in England in the summer. Russia is currently challenging an international suspension of all its teams at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.