Plans for a biennial World Cup could see the first men’s edition take place in 2028, according to FIFA’s head of global development Arsene Wenger, but UEFA are pursuing with their plans to hold the European Championships that year. Nations have been invited to bid to host the Euros in seven years’ time, with joint bids welcomed by European football’s governing body.
UEFA has unveiled the bidding process for Euro 2028, the tournament which would fall the same year as FIFA’s first biennial World Cup if those plans come to fruition.
The proposals for a World Cup every two years have been strongly opposed by UEFA, as well as the majority of European leagues including the Premier League.
Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s head of global development, suggested the first men’s biennial World Cup could take place in 2028, putting football’s world governing body on a potential collision course with UEFA, who have invited nations to bid to host the European Championships that year.
UEFA said 24 teams will take part in the 2028 tournament, although that could yet be increased to 32.
Joint bids that are “geographically compact” have been welcomed by UEFA, but automatic qualification will only apply to a maximum of two teams, in case multiple associations are looking to share hosting.
Interested parties must have 10 stadiums, with at least one boasting capacity of at least 60,000.The bidding timeline sees national associations given a deadline of 23 March 2022 to confirm their interest. The bidders will then be revealed by UEFA on 5 April, and they will then have a year to submit their final bid dossier before the hosts are announced in September 2023.
The process outlines UEFA’s firm intentions to hold the competition despite FIFA’s plans, which UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said would “kill football”
.Ceferin told the Times: “We can decide not to play in it. As far as I know, the South Americans are on the same page. So good luck with a World Cup like that.
“I think it will never happen as it is so much against the basic principles of football. To play every summer a one-month tournament, for the players it’s a killer.”