The International Olympic Committee after UEFA comes forward to criticise the Fifa’s biennial plan of a men’s World Cup every two years saying that it poses a threat to other sports and gender equality.
In a statement, the IOC’s executive board echoed those issues, “A number of international federations of other sports, national football federations, clubs, players, player associations and coaches have expressed strong reservations and concerns regarding the plans to generate more revenue for Fifa.”
Fifa’s proposals are set to be voted on in December by its 211 member associations, with the president, Gianni Infantino – also an IOC member – travelling the world to rally support for the plan, which has been fronted by the former Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger.
IOC said that the Biennial World Cups could cause a clash between the football showpiece and the Olympic Games – a major event in the women’s football calendar.
IOC said that conflicts with other events “would undermine the diversity and development” of sports adding that more men’s events would create “challenges” for women’s football.
Earlier in October, a joint statement from UEFA and 10 European women’s leagues had said that the plans could be “profoundly detrimental”.
In September men’s leagues confirmed their opposition to world governing body Fifa’s idea, which would mean the women’s World Cup taking place in the same summer as a major men’s tournament.
The Olympic governing body said that the plan has raised manifold concerns for other sporting bodies, including around player welfare, adding doubling the frequency of the World Cup “would create a further massive strain on the physical and mental health of the players”.
The OIC added that it supported calls for a wider consultation with athletes’ representatives and that the consultation “has obviously not taken place”.
They concluded, “The IOC shares these concerns and supports the calls of stakeholders of football, international sports federations and major event organisers for a wider consultation, including with athletes’ representatives, which has obviously not taken place.”
Infantino defended his proposal in response, saying, “The prestige of an event depends on its quality, not its frequency. You have the Super Bowl every year, Wimbledon or the Champions League every year, and everyone is excited and waiting for it.”