On Monday, FIFA President Gianni Infantino spoke at the World Summit of FIFA member states, stating: The biennial Men’s World Cup could generate an additional $ 4.4 billion in revenue (Increase by about 60%) Over a 4-year cycle compared to the current 4-year tournament. He said there was probably enough support among the members to approve this now, but there will be more consultation to make broader and more holistic reforms.
Many stakeholders oppose this idea, including federations such as UEFA and CONMEBOL, organizations such as the World Professional Soccer League Association and Players Association, FIFPRO, and mainly clubs and federations in Europe and South America. Some have created their own research to show that the biennial World Cup is financially damaging.
So what’s happening here? Are we really heading to the World Cup every two years? There are FAQs to help you understand this.
Q: If Infantino is convinced of the majority of FIFA members who support the biennial World Cup, why didn’t he ask for a vote?
A: A: Well, he said “probably”, so maybe he’s not 100% sure. More realistically, he understands that there is still a lot of opposition from UEFA and its members, as well as the wealthiest and most influential regions of the world. There were even suggestions that UEFA and CONMEBOL could boycott the biennial World Cup, and obviously, without them, you wouldn’t get that extra $ 4.4 billion.
Q: Why are they so opposed? Do they want to make more money?
A: A: Of course, they also want to be the ones who distribute the money. First, the biennial World Cup means shifting continental competitions such as the Euro and Copa America to odd-numbered years. In other words, a large tournament will be held every summer. The World Cup is the biggest event, with so many sponsors and broadcast dollars that biennial competitions can prey on income that would otherwise go to continental competitions. Perhaps an additional $ 4.4 billion (which is disagreeable, assuming realistic forecasts) can help mitigate it, but be aware of this. When you make money in your tournament, you can decide who will receive it. FIFA runs the World Cup. FIFA will decide.
But there are more. The biennial World Cup also means redrawing the International Match Calendar, a master document that determines when all football, from club tournaments to international matches, will be played. The latest match calendar will expire in 2024, so game power brokers will need to create new contracts no matter what happened at the World Cup. But it’s a delicate ecosystem that balances club needs (actually paying players and generating most of their revenue) with international needs. And all this is when many people like FIFPRO warn that top players are competing in too many games and are at risk of burnout and injury.
Everyone wants to have a say, and attending the biennial World Cup means blocking another big part of the calendar.
Q: Still, if Infantino got a vote, couldn’t it be forced to pass? Then, once it’s deployed, do you know the master schedule?
A: A: In theory it was, but it would have been somewhere between the dictator and the recklessness. The majority vote is great, but you still need to protect your minority rights. Whenever possible, it is advisable to dominate by consensus.
In addition, CONMEBOL, especially UEFA, along with President Alexander Cheferin, not only seems determined to abandon Infantino’s plans, but also has a lot of influence. After all, most of the game’s biggest stars come from South America or Europe, and it’s also where the world’s largest clubs are located. Naturally, clubs prefer club soccer to international soccer. Europe and South America have a strong alliance, and South American clubs may eventually join the European Nations League (which I think will change their name).
Also, following his successful fight to thwart the Super League, Sepherin is now gaining political support in Europe among most large clubs (legal action against UEFA in the Super League). Except for the three I’m taking- real Madrid, Barcelona When Juventus -They probably don’t want any more international tournaments).
Q: So why is Infantino still pursuing this? Is it just money?
A: A: Of course, that shouldn’t surprise anyone. I wrote a column about this a while ago.. FIFA wants to make more money, but once it’s made, it’s not just sitting in a pile of cash. They redistribute the money to 211 members around the world. The more they redistribute, the happier the members will be and the more likely they are to re-election the FIFA president.
FIFA’s mission is to develop games. It requires organization and infrastructure and is costly. Most football associations around the world receive most of their direct funding from FIFA. And the Men’s World Cup accounts for more than 90% of FIFA’s revenue. Therefore, the easiest way they can increase their income is to squeeze more money out of the quarterly World Cup or hold tournaments more often.
Q: What about an independent study of the economic impact of the biennial World Cup? Do you know what the actual impact is?
A: A: FIFA has outsourced to Nielsen. Nielsen generated an additional $ 4.4 billion when switching to the biennial World Cup. They also found that if all coalitions host biennial continental tournaments (some of which have already been held, such as CONCACAF and CAF in Africa), they will generate an additional $ 6.6 billion every four years. did. Another FIFA study by a group called OpenEconomics, which focuses on macroeconomic impacts, shows that global gross domestic product has increased by more than $ 180 billion and is permanent at the World Cup every two years for 16 years with 2 million people. Jobs are expected to be created.
Sounds good. Well, UEFA also asked for a report from a company called Oliver & Ohlbaum. It said changing the international calendar to accommodate the biennial World Cup would result in a loss of up to $ 4 billion in revenue to the European Federation. And the World League Forum has its own research that was even more dire. The study, conducted by KPMG and Delta Partners, predicts $ 9 billion in revenue, matchday revenue, and loss of commerce contracts.
Q: How are these studies so different in their predictions?
A: A: They are all to measure slightly different criteria. For example, a FIFA Nielsen study measured biennial World Cup revenue. A UEFA Oliver & Ohlbaum study examined the overall impact of calendar changes (necessary to make it possible), as well as the biennial World Cup, on European national associations. The World League report looked at the impact on club football and the national league.
And there is the risk of being cynical. This is because when these studies are published, they tend to emphasize information that supports the person who requested the report. It is no exaggeration to say that the biennial World Cup will generate more money for FIFA at the expense of European club football and the European Federation. The key question is how much and whether it is desirable.
Then, as I said, it’s not just about making more money (generally considering that everything is redistributed), but the fact that it’s the person who redistributes it. So even if it goes online, I don’t think UEFA is too happy with it.
That said, Infantino can’t fight a battle that is too clever to win.
Q: What do you mean?
A: A: Well, there is an easy way for him to reconstruct the argument. In essence, make it about the rich Europeans not wanting to share an economic pie with the rest of the world. That way, even if the biennial World Cup isn’t held, at least I’ve tried it and it’s got most of the support of the world.
Q: So what are the most likely results?
A: A: I don’t think the biennial World Cup will be held, but there’s probably a compromise that everyone will take a step back and sacrifice something. It’s a danger of democracy. There are 21 FIFA member countries, and in reality, more than half experience the World Cup on TV. At the same time, it probably wouldn’t exist without direct funding from FIFA. So, obviously, they want more opportunities to qualify, and moreover, they want as much money as the FIFA can give them. Otherwise, they may vote for another president.
That’s why FIFA is determined to increase revenue. If it’s not another Men’s World Cup, it could be another tournament. It’s profitable, but it doesn’t require a whole new qualifying process like the World Cup. It’s a resurrected (and expanded) Confederations Cup, for example, a World Champion, the host country of the next World Cup, a continental tournament winner, a Nations League winner, whatever you need to reach. There are slots reserved for. For example, 16 teams. You will still get a lot of heavy hitters out there, but such options will be shorter and less confusing.
I think another possibility is the Club World Cup, which is held every four years. If the club wants a cut, it’s probably even more profitable. And given that it’s their big clubs that generate the majority of cash and interest, I wonder how UEFA feels about it.
However, just as important is reaching an agreement on the international match calendar. There seems to be a broad consensus on reducing (while lengthening) the number of international breaks, but we need to come up with a way and when to schedule. There is a natural cliff edge here. If World Soccer does not reach the contract in at least 9-12 months before the current contract expires in June 2024, it will cause great damage to the game, considering that planning and sales will be impossible. Will give. Media and commercial rights.
And if there’s one thing that connects the power of football, it’s that I don’t like hitting where it hurts … in my wallet.
– Soccer Sports
The biennial World Cup seems unlikely, but the compromise is:
https://www.espn.com/soccer/fifa-world-cup/story/4554365/world-cup-every-two-years-seems-unlikelybut-heres-what-a-compromise-might-look-like The biennial World Cup seems unlikely, but the compromise is: