FIFA Has Some Really Bad Ideas For A Biennial World Cup, But This Is The Worst Yet

Some have suggested that in order to make a biennial World Cup work, not all teams would be allowed to compete in all editions.

Have you ever been involved in a big brainstorm where all the ideas were utter trash and you thought: “Well, at least this is just the idea stage, otherwise we’d be fucked.” That’s essentially what is happening over at FIFA lately as they brainstorm in public the most godawful ideas you’ve ever heard for a biennial World Cup. None of these ideas should even leave the whiteboard, and yet here we are discussing them openly, fearing they might actually come to fruition, including a newly proposed idea that is just about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. 

In recent months, FIFA has become increasingly bullish on trying to ram through a biennial World Cup — that’s a World Cup every two years instead of the traditional four years, as has been done for nearly a century. Such a proposal would see major continental competitions (Euros, Copa América, Gold Cup) played in odd years and the World Cup in every even year. Women’s soccer is completely ignored in this scenario. 

Desired by no one but greedy federations who want more money to not give to women’s soccer, you can give FIFA your feedback on how dumb the idea is here, unless you’re one of those miserable people who actually likes this plan.

The reason behind a biennial World Cup is simple: More major tournaments make more money for FIFA, which will in theory trickle down to the federations who voted for it. Because FIFA typically votes on things by one-nation, one-vote elections, the large number of African, Asian and Caribbean nations that are not regulars at World Cups would actually favor this model because it means more money for them, never mind watering down the greatest competition in the history of mankind (well, third behind Survivor and Squid Game). It’s literally just a cash grab under a bullshit guise of “the kids need more to be entertained these days.”

It seems like every week there’s a new update to this dreadful plan, whether it’s UEFA telling FIFA to GTFO or new, even worse ideas coming out for a biennial World Cup. 

On Wednesday, UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin warned FIFA of “terrible consequences” if FIFA president Gianni Infantino went ahead with a vote on the biennial World Cup this year. Also on Wednesday, we learned of the dumbest idea yet.

The general secretary of the Portuguese federation, Tiago Craveiro, said Tuesday that FIFA should explore the idea of having biennial World Cups where nations are not allowed to compete in consecutive editions. 

Yeah, that happened. And Infantino wasn’t opposed to it.

“I welcome as well the idea of Tiago to say, well, we need more participation and maybe there is a way of doing that by having two World Cups, but not with the same teams participating,” Infantino said. “I don’t know. This is something that the technical people will study, but this is certainly something that we have to look into.”

Shut the fuck up. 

As if doubling the number of World Cups wouldn’t destroy the prestige of the competition enough, trying to keep certain countries from participating would only further ruin and water down the World Cup. 

Would we have good World Cups in some years and JV World Cups in others? Would some countries decide not to qualify for a certain World Cup thinking they’d have a better chance to win in two years? 

If FIFA is so adamant about more World Cups, why doesn’t FIFA just make a “FIFA World Championship For Men’s Football For The M&Ms Cup” for the nations who don’t qualify for the varsity World Cup. (And yes, I stole that name from the first Women’s World Cup, when FIFA didn’t think women deserved to play for a World Cup.) This way the nations that want money can compete for prizes no one cares about while the nations that actually want to compete for something can continue their normal World Cup every four years. 

FIFA has tried to push the idea that kids these days don’t want to watch a 90-minute football match and the sport needs to do more to appeal to a younger audience. While it’s true eSports (including soccer video games) and other entertainment have been growing faster than football, to completely demolish the grandest competition in all of sport just because some old people think this is what young people want is opposed by just about everyone who isn’t set to wet their beak by a biennial World Cup. If FIFA actually talked to young people, they’d no doubt be told to fuck off. 

“I believe as well that the enemy of football is not the World Cup or is not FIFA but it is other activities that young boys and young girls are running after today,” Infantino told UEFA members on Tuesday, still pushing his nonsense. “And we need to see how jointly and together we can bring them back to be interested in football. And we want to, as far as I’m concerned, do this all together as we have always been doing in the last few years.”

It’s painfully obvious this is all a cash grab. FIFA hasn’t spent an ounce of energy to protect the women’s game, only focusing on the men’s game. What happens to the Women’s World Cup that’s played simultaneously to the Euros and Copa América? How does the Olympic soccer tournament fit in to all of this? FIFA doesn’t give a shit; it just wants more money.

There is one path for recourse: quit FIFA.

Just as EA Sports told FIFA to kindly fuck off when soccer’s governing body asked for a billion dollars to continue to use the organization’s name in its video game series, nations and confederations can tell FIFA to fuck off if it moves forward with a biennial World Cup. 

In fact, more than a dozen European nations — led by Nordic nations — have already considered the option of quitting FIFA

Just because FIFA has controlled world football for decades doesn’t mean it has to continue to be in charge. Just as EA Sports can rename its video games, the nations, clubs, players and fans can decide FIFA isn’t worth it and build their own World Cup. 

Like Bender building his own theme park with blackjack and hookers, so too can normal football fans, players and executives build their own World Cup with blackjack and hookers — and hold it every four years as Bender intended. 

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