Saudi Arabia wants FIFA to examine the possibility of staging the World Cup every two years.
Their proposal is on the agenda for discussion at the 71st FIFA Congress, which will be held online on Friday May 21.
It's one of three submissions from national associations that has been submitted. The Jamaican Football Federation is requesting a global women’s football competition concept to be prepared.
While their counterparts in Liberia are seeking a proposal for the future of FIFA’s youth competitions to be made.
But it's the submission from Saudi Arabia that is likely to raise most eyebrows.
Article 10.2 on the agenda reads, "Proposal by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation requesting a feasibility study to be carried out on the impact of playing the FIFA World Cup and the FIFA Women’s World Cup every two years."
Outside of World War II, the men's World Cup has been played every four years and is scheduled to remain a quadrennial tournament into the 2030's. The Women's World Cup has also been held every four years since 1991, with Australia and New Zealand sharing hosting duties in 2023.
In recent months, FIFA president Gianni Infantino has faced questions over his relationship with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who has been linked with the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
جياني إنفانتينو رئيس FIFA :
ما رأيته هنا مثير للدهشة.. وعلى العالم بأسره أن يأتوا إلى السعودية لمشاهدته.. التطور الكبير الذي تم خلال العامين الماضيين لا يُصدق#رئيس_الفيفا_في_السعودية pic.twitter.com/U5j8Ksejr6
— وزارة الرياضة (@gsaksa) January 7, 2021
"I’m the president of FIFA and as such I have to look at football and what football can do and the role football can play in society," Infantino said when pressed on the Saudi visit.
He added, "Our position at FIFA has always been, and will always be, engagement and dialogue is the only and the best way forward to make changes happen."
A change to the Women's World Cup schedule may appear more likely.
Speaking in 2020, Infantino himself wondered aloud, "One idea that came in this period, and even before as well, is that maybe we should organise the Women’s World Cup every two years instead of every four years."
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