Football: South America comes out against idea of biennial World Cup

Several regions have voiced their concern at a proposal by world football governing body Fifa to hold the World Cup every two years. PHOTO: REUTERS

SAO PAULO (REUTERS) - The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) criticised the idea of a biennial World Cup on Friday (Sept 10), saying such plans were "highly unviable" and would put a "practically impossible burden" on football's international calendar.

Its stance comes as world football's governing body Fifa undertakes a feasibility study into the match calendar.

The review, led by former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, has proposed the World Cup every two years, alternating with continental tournaments such as the European Championship.

"Under the current conditions, it is already complicated to reconcile times, schedules, logistics, and the adequate preparation of teams and commitments," Conmebol said in a statement.

"The situation would be extremely difficult with the proposed change. It could even put the quality of other tournaments at risk, both club and international.

"There is no sporting justification to cut the time period between World Cups."

Its position against the moves come a day after European football's governing body Uefa also rejected the idea.

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has warned that European nations could boycott a biennial World Cup competition.

Former players such as Ronaldo and Peter Schmeichel have backed the idea but current players and coaches - Jurgen Klopp and Gareth Bale among them - were not as enthusiastic.

The World Leagues Forum, which represents the main domestic club competitions, has also opposed the proposals.

Conmebol said a biennial World Cup could lead to a distortion of the tournament, "lowering its quality and undermining its exclusive character."

South American sides Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay have won nine of the 21 World Cups on offer, although none since 2002 when Brazil won a record fifth title.

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