KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTING —- European football, belatedly, is mobilising in opposition to FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s bid to stage the World Cup every two years.

Associations and confederations in South America, Africa and – lately – Asia have already thrown their support behind the idea which is the subject of what appears to be fig-leaf type of feasibility study by the world governing body.

Europe may be too late. Aleksander Ceferin, president of European federation UEFA, led a chorus of disapproval earlier this week at the congress of the European Club Association whose chair, Qatari Nasser Al-Khelaifi from Paris Saint-Germain joined in the rearguard action.

FIFA has been aggressive in pursuing the change from the traditional four-yearly staging with one of the most voluble promoters being the former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger whose attitude to an agglomeration of national team football has turned on its head since he was a club boss.

Infantino has said that clubs have been consulted but this is questionable, at least as far as the European Big-5 are concerned.

Now the World Leagues Forum has added its opposition.

A statement from the group which represents domestic competition organisers around the world said:

The World Leagues Forum, the association representing professional leagues at world level, will oppose any proposals to hold the football World Cup every two years and dilute the historical and traditional values of a competition that means so much to fans and players.

The World Cup is a symbolic and unique sporting event. FIFA’s leadership cannot be able to turn something exceptional into a commonplace event purely to serve their short-term interests.

A biennial World Cup would negatively disrupt the football economy and undermine players’ welfare in a calendar that is already overloaded.

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.