FIFA has invited football’s major governing bodies to a summit later this month to discuss the international calendar, including its proposal to hold the World Cup every two years.
The FA and SFA have been invited to the online summit on September 30, along with other member associations as well as “representatives of players, clubs, leagues and confederations” – including the European Club Association (ECA) and world players’ union FIFPRO.
The key topic of discussion is set to be the proposal to overhaul the international calendar by holding a biennial World Cup, a plan spearheaded by FIFA’s head of global development – former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
“There is a broad consensus within the game that the international match calendar should be reformed and improved,” read a statement released by FIFA on Monday.
“Following invitations to stakeholders, including all confederations, at the beginning of September, discussions are being organised in the coming weeks.
“On 15 September 2021, FIFA also invited its member associations to a first online summit on 30 September 2021.
“This is one of several opportunities to establish a constructive and open debate, at a global and regional level, over the coming months and FIFA is looking forward to it.
“As this is a football project, in which the global interests of football should come first, this process started with players and coaches from all over the world.
“Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs) have been established under the stewardship of Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, and two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup-winning coach Jill Ellis. The debate will also involve fans from around the globe.
“FIFA is committed to being a forum for meaningful debate by engaging with a wide range of stakeholders including fans and looks forward to discussions on the sustainable growth of football in all regions of the world, at all levels.”
The proposed changes to the international calendar would mean a major finals being held every year, alternating between World Cups in even years and the continental finals such as the European Championship and the Copa America in odd years.
Within it, FIFA proposes to cut the number of international windows in a season to one or at most two, in October and March, with no national team playing any more than seven matches including playoffs.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has expressed his opposition to the proposal, while South American confederation CONMEBOL has described the plans as “highly unviable”.
However, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have confirmed they are open to the idea of a biennial World Cup.