France star Kylian Mbappe has spoken out against FIFA’s plans to hold a World Cup every two years, suggesting it would make the tournament less special and put a greater physical strain on players.
Football’s world governing body has suggested a biennial competition as part of a revamp of the current calendar.
However, the proposal has met with significant opposition from those who question how it would fit in to an already-busy football schedule.
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What did Mbappe say about a World Cup every two years?
Speaking at the Global Soccer Awards, where he was named Best Men’s Player of The Year, PSG striker Mbappe said: “World Cup, every two years? I can’t say if it’s right or wrong.
“It’s something unique that happens every four years. Playing it every two years would become a normal competition.
“We already play 60 games a year. We are happy to play, but when it’s too much it is too much. If you want to have quality you have to allow the players to rest.”
The bigger picture
Mbappe is the latest name to comment on what is becoming an increasingly divisive issue in football.
Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who is FIFA’s head of global development, has backed the idea. The Frenchman says the plans would mean fewer qualifying games and international breaks during the season and more high-stakes knockout matches, which he says is what the fans want.
However, the plans have been met with some opposition, most notably from the European and South American governing bodies UEFA and CONMEBOL.
Both bodies have publicly opposed FIFA's plans for more regular World Cups, with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin expressing "grave concerns" about the proposals earlier this year.
Earlier this month the two organisations revealed plans for South American teams to join the Nations League from 2024, which appears to directly conflict with FIFA’s plans.