KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTING —- European football bosses claim they will go blind into Monday’s FIFA summit to kick around calendar change proposals including a biennial World Cup.
Aleksander Ceferin, president of European federation UEFA, was scathing after an executive committee meeting about what he viewed as the world governing body’s failure to engage with him and his 55 member associations on the controversial issue.
Ceferin aligned himself with Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, who has criticised FIFA’s lack of consultation.
FIFA launched a feasibility study into a World Cup every two years in line with a proposal accepted last spring from the Saudi Arabian federation at the world body’s congress. Development director Arsene Wenger has championed a biennial World Cup within a reorganisation of the international match calendar.
Ceferin professed himself unimpressed with both Monday’s online summit and speculation about compromise events.
He told a media briefing: “The first proposal we had [for Monday] was for an extraordinary congress and voting. We strongly opposed it together with CONMEBOL [South American confederation] and FIFA decided not to do it.
“It’s hard to think about any compromise if you don’t have any idea or information. As far as we know FIFA is still considering this project but it’s hard to know.
“We don’t have any particular [UEFA] strategy. It will be 211 federations involved with 500 people at a video conference so I don’t expect anything very deep.
“For now we don’t even have the agenda. The only thing we know is it’s called The Future of Football which can mean a lot and can mean nothing.”
Ceferin was also unimpressed by suggestions, notably from FIFA’s Canadian vice-president Victor Montagliani, that a worldwide Nations League or revived Confederations Cup might be substituted for a biennial World Cup.
He said: “I’m fed up with hearing proposals through the media. I might be naïve but I still hope we will start speaking with some documentation, serious ideas and not have to wake up in the morning to the newspapers to see the new proposals from some of our colleagues.”