CONCACAF 'open' to biennial World Cup

Panama and Mexico did battle in a CONCACAF zone World Cup qualifier for Qatar 2022.
Panama and Mexico did battle in a CONCACAF zone World Cup qualifier for Qatar 2022.

CONCACAF, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football, has said it has an "open mind" with regard to the proposal to hold the World Cup every two years.

Plans to shake up the international calendar with a halving of the four-year gap between World Cups have been put forward by former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, FIFA's head of global development.

The proposals have been met with strong opposition in some quarters, with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin suggesting European countries could boycott the showpiece tournament if they were approved.

Last week, the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) criticised the proposal, saying it was "highly unviable" and would overwhelm the football calendar.

CONCACAF has asked for wider consultation with stakeholders.

"Our initial analysis is that we recognise the merits of creating entirely new international men's, women's and youth football calendars which are underpinned by fewer international breaks, reduced travel for players, friendlies being replaced by meaningful matches and a more balanced structure for the overall benefit of football development globally," a CONCACAF on Monday read.

"We will continue to look at these proposals constructively, with an open mind and in the spirit of positive engagement... Football in all parts of the world should be given an equal opportunity to play a part in the development of what is a FIFA international football calendar.

"Now is not the time for fearmongering and neither is it right that this process should be dominated by the interests of a few, or that more weight should be given to one particular region over others.

"We encourage not only our fellow confederations, but also all members of the global football family to come together and work collaboratively to create FIFA calendars and competitions that have benefits for the development of the game in all regions across the world."

with Reuters

Australian Associated Press