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IOC, concerned about biennial World Cup proposal

The International Olympic Committee on Saturday expressed its “concerns” over the proposal promoted by FIFA to host the World Cup every two years.

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, said last month that his organization “will not interfere” in discussions about the biennial World Cup. However, the IOC spoke on Saturday, after a meeting in Athens, to give details of the objections it shares. …with several football organizations in Europe.

In its statement after its executive board meeting, the International Olympic Committee mentioned the possibility of the World Cup colliding with other sports on the calendar. He warned that this could cast a shadow over the women’s World Cup and put “a tremendous and additional pressure” on the well-being of athletes.

In its statement, the IOC did not indicate future coincidences in the calendar between the World Cup and the Olympic Games, something that could happen in 2028, when the venue is Los Angeles.

But the Olympic body criticized FIFA’s tactics to promote the biennial World Cup, noting that “there was clearly no” broader consultation in football.

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FIFA revealed its plan in more detail last month, after meeting with retired players. The goal is to chart a new agenda in international football competitions, with the World Championships every two years for men and women.

The proposal, which has been widely supported by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, was announced before formal consultations with member associations in Europe and South America, traditional strongholds of the World Cup.

The football governing bodies in those regions, UEFA and CONMEBOL, have warned of a World Cup boycott if FIFA insists on the plan, which would undermine regional competitions, which are held in the same four-year Summer Olympics. .

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The next European Cup and America’s Cup are scheduled for 2024.

The International Olympic Committee stated that “tennis, cycling, golf, gymnastics, swimming, athletics, Formula 1, and many other sports” would be affected by the achievement of more world championships.

The organization warned that “this would undermine the diversity and development of sports other than football.”

FIFA, whose next tournament will be in Qatar 2022 in Qatar and 2026 in the United States, Mexico and Canada, has not specified whether subsequent and every two years editions will be held in even-numbered years. You can suggest odd-numbered years, starting in 2029.

In a briefing after the board meeting, spokesman Mark Adams was asked if Infantino, an IOC member, had spoken with Bach about the plan for the biennial World Cup before it was announced.

Adams said he could not provide details, although he said the IOC was in contact with the governing bodies of various sports.

Last month, when asked about FIFA’s plans at a press conference for the International Olympic Committee, Bach suggested that “contributions from the continental confederations” such as UEFA and CONMEBOL were clarifying matters.

FIFA has not set an official date for a decision on the proposal. However, it has suggested holding a meeting among its 211 national members in December.

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