FIFA’s proposals to hold the Globe Cup every two years have sparked debate in many regions of the football world. The grounds behind the shift, according to DW’s Matt Pearson, are incorrect, but regrettably expected.
FIFA has proposed various controversial, offensive, polarizing, and weird concepts in recent years, including bigger goals, tighter shorts in women’s football, abolishing draws, and the Video Assistant Referee.
However, just a few have had an impact.
Few things have sparked as much debate as the plan to hold the World Cup twice as often.
Arsene Wenger, the former Arsenal manager who is now the head of global development for football’s governing body, has become the proposal’s face. He told the BBC that he is willing to “take that risk” in order to “improve football.”
For whom is it better? That’s a tough topic, but it’s apparent that it will help FIFA’s sponsors and strengthen the influence of Wenger’s boss, FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
According to FIFA’s own poll, the majority of fans across all age categories prefer to keep the World Cup as it is over any proposed changes. The position of fans on FIFA’s priority list has been evident for some time, given the location of next year’s World Cup and the persistence of VARs.
Stories in scarcity
While a redistribution of funds from FIFA’s coffers to boost the level in areas outside of the traditional superpowers of South America and Europe should be a top focus, the event is primarily about sport and victory, not just participation.
Because such accomplishment is so hard to come by and so rare, stories like South Korea in 2002, Cameroon in 1990, or Bulgaria in 1994 catch the imagination.
This leads us to the topic of saturation. Football has already established itself as a continuous presence. The European Super League’s failure shown that fans have little desire to watch the same matches over and over again, and despite the participation of lesser nations in the early stages of the competition, that is essentially what World Cups have become.
Scarcity is a trait that is vastly undervalued. The Champions League, as well as the World Cup, would lose part of their lustre if Bayern Munich played Real Madrid three times a season.
Despite the fact that Wenger and Infantino talk about player welfare, supporters, and growing football nations, this is all about money and power. Unlike UEFA, which profits handsomely from the Champions League, FIFA’s most lucrative cash cow is the World Cup. They’re on the verge of dripping it dry.