Infantino links the World Cup project every two years and reducing illegal immigration
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has argued controversially that changing the football calendar may reduce the likelihood of Africans migrating to Europe and risking death in the Mediterranean.
Infantino spoke – before the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in the French city of Strasbourg – about support for FIFA’s reforms to the calendar, which included plans to hold the World Cup every two years.
Infantino said the proposals are very vital in order to give hope to the football world outside Europe. “We need to give hope to Africans so that they do not need to cross the Mediterranean, perhaps in search of a better life, but what is more likely to be death at sea,” he said.
“We need to give opportunity and dignity, not by giving charitable benefits, but by allowing the rest of the world to participate.”
Infantino criticized European behavior amid the debate over whether the World Cup should be held every two years instead of every four years. “In football, some have everything, while the majority have nothing. In Europe, the World Cup is held twice a week, because The best players in the world play in Europe.”
Even within Europe, significant disparities are noted, with a handful of elite leagues attracting the best players, and the majority not participating in continental competitions.
The issue of changing the course of the World Cup is a subject of great controversy, as the powerful sports federations in Europe and South America oppose it.