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CONCACAF urges caution over Wenger-backed World Cup plans

The
current
men’s
FIFA
international
match
calendar
ends
in
2024
and
Arsene
Wenger
is
seeking
to
shape
a
new
schedule
in
his
role
as
FIFA’s
chief
of
global
football
development,
but
his
plans
have
been
met
with
opposition.

CONMEBOL
said
on
Friday
that
South
American
nations
are
firmly
opposed
to
a
biennial
World
Cup,
and
CONCACAF

which
governs
the
sport
in
North
and
Central
America
and
the
Caribbean

underlined
the
importance
of
all
voices
being
heard
in
the
debate.

A
CONCACAF
statement
read:
“Meetings
between
FIFA
officials
and
the
Confederation
and,
separately,
CONCACAF
Member
Associations,
will
take
place
in
the
coming
weeks.

“Our
initial
analysis
is
that
we
recognise
the
merits
of
creating
entirely
new
international
men’s,
women’s,
and
youth
football
calendars
which
are
underpinned
by
fewer
international
windows,
reduced
travel
for
players,
friendlies
being
replaced
by
meaningful
matches,
and
a
more
balanced
structure
for
the
overall
benefit
of
football
development
globally.

“We
will
continue
to
look
at
these
proposals
constructively,
with
an
open
mind,
and
in
the
spirit
of
positive
engagement.

“CONCACAF
welcomes
the
fact
that
FIFA’s
chief
of
[global]
football
development,
Mr.
Arsene
Wenger,
has
been
transparent
in
sharing
his
vision
and
we
are
currently
studying
how
the
proposed
changes
would
impact
football
in
North
America,
Central
America,
and
the
Caribbean.

“While
CONCACAF’s
immediate
focus
is
on
its
own
region,
we
also
believe
in
the
importance
of
being
part
of
the
global
football
family
and
we
will
listen
to
the
views
of
football
stakeholders
in
all
parts
of
the
world.
It
was
in
this
spirit
that
CONCACAF
was
supportive
of
UEFA
and
its
European
football
stakeholders
when
recent
threats
to
their
own
club
competitions
structures
were
explored.”

UEFA
expressed
strong
opposition
to
the
plans
for
a
biennial
World
Cup,
warning
of
a
possible
boycott
if
the
plans
go
ahead.

While
CONCACAF’s
statement
did
not
show
the
level
of
clear
opposition
to
the
plans
that
came
from
UEFA
and
CONMEBOL,
it
urged
caution
nonetheless.

“Football
in
all
parts
of
the
world
should
be
given
an
equal
opportunity
to
play
a
part
in
the
development
of
what
is
a
FIFA
international
football
calendar.
Now
is
not
the
time
for
fearmongering
and
neither
is
it
right
that
this
process
should
be
dominated
by
the
interests
of
a
few,
or
that
more
weight
should
be
given
to
one
particular
region
over
others.

“We
encourage
not
only
our
fellow
confederations
but
also
all
members
of
the
global
football
family
to
come
together
and
work
collaboratively
to
create
FIFA
calendars
and
competitions
that
have
benefits
for
the
development
of
the
game
in
all
regions
across
the
world.”

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