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Infantino rules out changes in South American qualifiers for biannual mundia

Infantino rules out changes in South American qualifiers for biannual mundia

FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Monday ruled out a change to the South American knockout format should his idea of ​​holding a World Cup every two years come to fruition.

“Playing all the qualifiers in a month is not the solution either,” said the world’s top soccer leader during a press conference in Buenos Aires, the last port of his tour in South America to promote the biennial World Cup.

One of the arguments that Infantino uses to seduce the South American federations is that with the current World Cup calendar every four years South American players are at a disadvantage with their European peers because they travel many more kilometers to play with their national teams and he had outlined the possibility of change the current format of free-for-all playoffs.

“We have understood it, we have heard that in South America it is very important to play the 18 games, one at home and one abroad, very well, it can be done with a new calendar, and it can give more opportunities and more emotions,” explained Infantino, who previously he was visiting Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Chile.

Under the current format of South American qualifiers, the ten selected from CONMEBOL face everyone against everyone. The first four of the table qualify for the World Cup and the fifth plays a playoff against a rival from another confederation. Venezuela is the only team that never qualified for the World Cup.

The FIFA president did not explain how he is going to respect the current format of South American qualifiers that are played for practically three years if the World Cup is played every two.

Infantino confirmed that “we are going to make a decision (for the World Cup) before the end of the year, in December” during the FIFA Congress. “All the options are good, the important thing is that we have a proposal on the table and we see how it can be improved.”

UEFA and CONMEBOL have promised to resist Infantino’s proposal, believing that it will harm the quality of their club competitions. In recent days, the International Olympic Committee has added to the criticism, which fears other sports will be overshadowed by football.

“If something good is done for world football, it is also good for sport, football is a sport. The enemy of sport is not football but not playing sports. The problem is that today’s young people do less and less sports. Everything we can do for more sport we have to do, “said Infantino.

Sitting next to the FIFA boss, the president of the Argentine Football Association (AFA), Claudio Tapia, avoided setting his position on the biennial World Cup.

“It is a proposal that we are analyzing, the aspects that are harmful. We are in a period of analysis. And when the time comes to make the decision, it will be transferred to the executive committee ”, said the Argentine executive. “Have no doubt that we are going to make the decision that we create best for Argentina.”

 

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