- Fifa VP suggests a global Nations League at FT’s Business of Football Summit
- Uefa keen on finding solution to play more meaningful international soccer
Uefa is confident Fifa’s biennial World Cup idea will soon be “off the table” with a solution set to be reached that could result in this summer’s Finalissima becoming a regular occurrence.
Fifa, soccer’s global governing body, has been consulting over the possibility of switching World Cups to every two years with president Gianni Infantino eager to add more meaningful games to the international calendar.
Aleksander Ceferin, the president of the European soccer body, has been a vocal critic of the idea but hinted the two organisations were close to an agreement when speaking at the Financial Times Business of Football Summit on 3rd March.
He said: “I wouldn’t compare Super League and the issue with Fifa. With Fifa we discuss regularly and the biennial World Cup is a no-go for everyone in football. I am glad that now Fifa realises it as well.
“We are still discussing, I had a discussion with the Fifa president yesterday about it and we absolutely admit and cannot say football on other continents cannot be develop but we should be aligned and it should not hurt European and South American federations.
“We have discussions as much as I heard and I am sure biennial World Cups is off the table. We are discussing and want to help. We cannot say European football is European football and we don’t allow anything else.
“That was never our approach and it will not be our approach in the future as well. We are discussing, I don’t think it is correct we say more now because only discussions but I am sure we will come to a solution very soon with Fifa.”
Ceferin suggested this could see the winners of the European Championships facing the Copa America champions becoming a fixture in the calendar. A jointly arranged Uefa-Conmebol match between Italy and Argentina, dubbed Finalissima, is scheduled for 1st June in London.
On 2nd March, Fifa vice-president Victor Montagliani floated the idea of a global Nations League or a revamped Confederations Cup, which was scrapped in 2017 but did bring together nations from different parts of the world.
“I think it is a very good and interesting thing that the two confederations, the only ones who won the cups, play one match against each other,” Ceferin said of Italy versus Argentina.
“I see many of our big federations and also South Americans saying they want to play against each other more and it makes sense. Now we are discussing also with Fifa how do we do it? Do we do it together? Probably yes but for now too early to share publicly.
“I agree before (the) Nations League there were more friendly matches with teams from outside Europe and now friendly matches are not so many so we have to see how we give a chance for teams to play against each other. It is not only about big teams.
“Small teams want to play against different confederations. It is always different to see different styles and we see our confederations would like it. We are discussing with Fifa about it almost every day.”