Infantino says those opposed to World Cup change scared

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CAIRO, Nov 26 (Reuters) – FIFA president Gianni Infantino accused those opposed to altering the frequency of the World Cup to each two years of being scared of change and wanting to hold their elevated standing within the sport as Africa on Friday backed the plans.

In a veiled dig at confederations in Europe and South America, who’ve come out towards the plan to change the present four-year-cycle, Infantino stated they didn’t need issues to change as a result of they had been on the high of the game.

He was talking on the Confederation of African Football congress in Cairo, the place African international locations on Fridayunanimously voted for a decision backing his plan to change the internet hosting of the World Cup to each two years.

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“Those who are against it are those at the top. It happens in every sector of life when there are reforms and changes, those who are at the top don’t want anything to change because they are at the top,” stated Infantino.

“And they are afraid maybe that if something changes, their leadership position is at risk.

“We understand that and we compliment and applaud them for having been so successful in reaching the top. This is fantastic, and they are an example for everyone.

“But at the same time, we cannot close the door, we need to keep the door open, we need to give hope and opportunities,” he added.

Infantino insisted rising the frequency of the internet hosting of FIFA’s flagship occasion would supply extra alternatives to international locations exterior of the highest tier of the world sport.

“We need to offer more chances for world football, for African football to shine at the world stage.”

Infantino stated he would proceed to seek the advice of opinion on his proposal however gave no timeline for its attainable implementation.

UEFA has stated a brand new schedule would have an hostile impression on the steadiness between native, home, continental, and worldwide competitions.

CONMEBOL, the South American physique, stated the challenge “turns its back on almost 100 years of world football tradition”.

The World Cup will improve its variety of finalists from 32 to 48 on the 2026 version, which is being co-hosted by Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

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Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Giles Elgood and Toby Davis

FIFA PHOTO: President Gianni Infantino visits Venezuela - Universidad central de Venezuela stadium - Caracas, Venezuela - October 15, 2021 FIFA President Gianni Infantino attends a news conference. REUTERS/Leonardo Fernandez Viloria

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