The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) takes note of FIFA’s plans to change the football competition schedule and to hold the World Cup every two years. A number of International Federations (IFs) of other sports, national football federations, clubs, players, players associations and coaches have expressed strong reservations and concerns regarding the plans to generate more revenue for FIFA, mainly for the following reasons:
- Impact on other sports – The increased frequency and timing for the World Cup would create a clash with other major international sports. This includes tennis, cycling, golf, gymnastics, swimming, athletics, Formula 1 and many others. This would undermine the diversity and development of sports other than football.
- Gender equality – The increase in men’s events in the calendar would create challenges for the further promotion of women’s football.
- Players’ welfare – The plans, in particular the doubling in the frequency of the World Cup, would create a further massive strain on the physical and mental health of the players.
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.