Exclusive FIFA vice president Montagliani offers compromise on World Cup plans

Football: CONCACAF Gold Cup 2017-French Guiana in Canada
PHOTO FILE: July 7, 2017; Harrison, NJ, USA; CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani speaks to the media ahead of the Gold Cup match between Canada and French Guiana at the Red Bull Arena. Required credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

December 3, 2021

By Simon Evans

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – FIFA vice-president Victor Montagliani has laid out a succession of possible compromises to a proposal to host the biennial World Cup, which has divided the global governing body.

Canadian Montagliani, president of CONCACAF which runs the game in North and Central America and the Caribbean, is a key ally of FIFA president Gianni Infantino and his idea of ​​an alternative tournament is likely to be discussed this month. .

Infantino has been locked in a bitter dispute with the European Union UEFA over a proposal to increase the frequency of the World Cup, with top leagues and clubs also objecting to the plan that the football development director said. FIFA Arsène Wenger’s global kick launched.

Montagliani told Reuters in an interview that an alternative tournament to the biennial World Cup could be a tournament based on the old Confederations Cup, which hasn’t been held since 2017, or a global version of the World Cup. Nations League format, used by UEFA and CONCACAF.

“The principle of having an event in between World Cups, is what I absolutely want,” said Montagliani.

“The question is what will that look like, how do we see it, how does that affect other things like the quality assessment process and the tournaments already in place? That is the process that we need to go through,” he added.

The Confederations Cup is held every four years, before the World Cup, and is an eight-country tournament that features each of the winners of continental championships such as the Euro and Copa America along with the World Cup and national champions. host.

“We used to have something in between World Cups, it was the old Confederations Cup. It is not a tournament that everyone can participate in but for some federations it is a nice link between your regional competition and an international competition and we have lost sight of that. there,” said Montagliani.

“Four or five years ago we had discussions about the ‘Global League of Nations’ so these discussions are not unusual. They may look different, whether it’s the Global League of Nations, the Confederations Cup or Arsene’s idea of ​​a biennial World Cup, these are events that happen between cycles. current World Cup.

“What I would like to see is (analyze) the drop, not so much in terms of revenue but what is the impact on the ecosystem we have now. I think our approach is to look at this from a holistic perspective,” he added.


The Canadian says one of the advantages of the Confederations Cup model is that there is no need for a separate qualification process – teams will earn their place through existing continental competitions.

FIFA will host a global summit of all national associations to discuss its plans on December 20.

In October, Infantino, after UEFA threatened to boycott an additional World Cup, said he was seeking consensus on the issue and the broader mandate of a new international schedule for the game. The agreement on the current calendar of international tournaments ends in 2024.

“We need to look at the sporting and economic value, then we can reasonably discuss the World Cups and perhaps other tournaments,” Infantino said.

Montagliani changed CONCACAF’s club competition from a group stage format to a knockout tournament and said a new format should be discussed.

“It could be completely different from the World Cup…another format that we haven’t thought of that could excite the fans,” he said.

(Reporting by Simon Evans, Editing by Ed Osmond) Exclusive FIFA vice president Montagliani offers compromise on World Cup plans

Huynh Nguyen

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