Sports

CAF calls for objectivity in analysing two-year World Cup proposal

(The Southern African Times) – The Confederation of African Football (CAF) called for objectivity to drive the discussion around proposals to have the FIFA World Cup played every two years instead of the current four years.

CAF, which has been participating in discussions related to the matter, released a statement on Tuesday saying it remained committed to the development, growth and success of football in the continent and across the world.

FILE PHOTO: The Confederation of African Football (CAF) headquarters in Cairo, Egypt. /Getty Images

“CAF is of the view that at this stage, what is most important, is for the discussions and deliberations to continue taking place, in an openminded manner and with the objective of doing what is in the best interest of all Member Associations, the Confederations, football players and other stakeholders worldwide,” the statement said.

“We believe that the long-term growth and success of FIFA, the Member Associations and all Confederations are inextricably intertwined.”

CAF said it was optimistic that a solution would be found in the best interest of the sport and stakeholders across all regions.

FIFA is currently undertaking a feasibility study into the value of staging the global tournament every two years following a proposal by Saudi Arabia’s football association in May.

There are a number of reasons why there is a plan to host the World Cup every two years. One of them is ensuring a fixed, annual spot in the football calendar for the international game to dominate the agenda.

There is also an opinion within the world governing body that hosting the World Cup after every four years is an obsolete model while holding the tournament every two years would afford more countries a chance to host it.

However, there has been very strong opposition to the proposal, particularly from UEFA, which views it as an attempt to limit Europe’s influence within the world game.

CAF, on the other hand, issued a statement in July supporting the staging of the World Cup every two years even as it pushed ahead with plans for a continental Super League.

There are, however, fears that holding a World Cup after every two years, in addition to the Africa Cup of Nations, which is also held every two years, would lead to fixture congestion.

One solution proposed to address this is to combine qualifying for the two tournaments as was the situation for the 2006 and 2010 competitions.

CAF president Patrice Motsepe in March said the Africa Cup of Nations will continue to be held every two years, despite calls from FIFA that it be changed to four years, as “CAF badly needed the revenue”.

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