FIFA are reportedly giving serious thought to staging a “mini World Cup” every two years, in addition to the ‘big World Cup’ they already have.
According to Reuters, president Gianni Infantino has proposed holding an eight-team tournament, known as “The Final 8” in between proper World Cups, which would serve as the climax to a proposed ‘Nations League’ competition – part of a grand scale reform of international football.
More pertinently, it’s estimated that the new intermediate tournament would be reap around $25billion to FIFA every 12-year cycle.
Reuters claim to have seen a letter sent by Infantino to the FIFA Council which suggests that the new ‘mini World Cup’ would take place in October/November of every odd year, from 2021 onwards.
It would also see the abolition of the Confederations Cup, which is currently played the year before every World Cup.
The new competition would run parallel to existing international tournaments such as the European Championship, Copa America, and African Nations Cup, plus the World Cup qualifying stages.
Of course, with Infantino pushing to allow more and more teams into the World Cup proper (48 will qualify, as of 2026!) what international football probably doesn’t need is another overly-complicated, over-inclusive tertiary tournament to distract from and ultimately devalue the grand prize.
However, this is FIFA we’re talking about and there’s $25billion on the table, so we think we can guess how this one is going to pan out…