Transnational and national fans’ organisations from across the six confederations have issued a joint statement opposing plans to impose a biennial FIFA World Cup.
In the past few months, it has been widely reported that FIFA intends to hold the World Cup every two years.
According to the organisation’s Chief of Global Football Development, Arsené Wenger, “it’s what the fans want.”
The undersigned fans’ organisations categorically refute this statement. The overwhelming majority of fans oppose a biennial World Cup cycle—and if FIFA had bothered to engage with us on the subject, they would have known this to be the case.
The World Cup has taken place every four years since the inaugural tournament was held in Uruguay in 1930. Why abandon almost a century’s worth of tradition on a whim and with no evidence that it will improve the global game?
On the contrary, such a move threatens to destroy the already fragile balance between local, domestic, continental, and international competitions and calendars. In particular, it will devalue and endanger the established competitions run by the various confederations—competitions that are just as important to match-going fans as the World Cup itself.
We enjoy the World Cup precisely because it is an extraordinary event. Most of us do not have the time, money, or ability to travel to the other side of the world every 24 months to watch our teams play in a much-diminished competition and half empty stadia.
Football is currently faced with significant problems and challenges—gross inequality within and between leagues and confederations, spiralling costs for fans, and inadequate grassroots infrastructure.
The game needs to change. But it needs to change for the better.
We do not want or need more World Cups.
We want strong, competitive domestic leagues and exciting continental competitions. We want more equitable and sustainable governance at all levels. We want young people to be able to afford to watch the clubs and national teams they love. We want everyone to have an equal opportunity to play and watch the game in a safe and welcoming environment.
We therefore call on FIFA and supportive national football associations to abandon their proposals to impose a biennial World Cup and include fans’ voices in any decisions that affect the future of the game that we fund and make a global spectacle.
Tifozat Kuq e Zi (Albania)
Coordinadora de Hinchas (Argentina)
Football Supporters Australia (Australia)
Aussie Supporteroos (Australia)
Club 1895 (Belgium)
Belgian Supporters (Belgium)
Associação Nacional de Torcidas Organizadas – ANATORG (Brazil)
Association des Supporters des Équipes Nationales du Tchad – ASENT (Chad)
La Marea Roja (Chile)
Association Nationale des Supporters des Léopards (Congo)
Croatian Fans’ Embassy (Croatia)
Fanklub Fotbalove Reprezentace (Czech Republic)
Danske Fodbold Fans – DFF (Denmark)
Danish Fans’ Embassy (Denmark)
Fútbol Rebelde Ecuador (Ecuador)
La Pelota No Se Mancha (Ecuador)
Football Supporters Association – FSA (England)
Pride in Football (England)
3 Lions Pride (England)
Football Supporters Europe (Europe)
Suomen Maajoukkueen Kannattajat – SMJK (Finland)
Irrésistibles Francais (France)
Association Nationale des Supporters (France)
Unsere Kurve e.V. (Germany)
Bündnis Aktiver Fußball Fans – BAFF e.V. (Germany)
German Fans’ Embassy (Germany)
Queer Football Fanclubs – QFF (Germany)
Comité National des Supporters de Guinée (Guinea)
Women’s Footie ID (Indonesia)
Open Stadiums (Iran)
Italian Fans’ Embassy (Italy)
M-Block Fanatics 95 Lëtzebuerg (Luxembourg)
Union Nationale des Associations de Supporters des Aigles du Mali – UNASAM (Mali)
South End Core (Malta)
Supporters de la Mauritanie (Mauritania)
Supporterscollectief Nederland (The Netherlands)
Flying Kiwis (New Zealand)
Supporters du Niger (Niger)
Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters’ Clubs (Northern Ireland)
Norsk Supporterallianse (Norway)
Associação Portuguesa de Defesa do Adepto – APDA (Portugal)
Portugese Fans’ Embassy (Portugal)
Irish Football Supporters Partnership – IFSP (Republic of Ireland)
Fans’ Embassy Russia (Russia)
Association of Tartan Army Clubs (Scotland)
Supporters Direct Scotland (Scotland)
Scottish Football Supporters Associations (Scotland)
Federación de Accionistas y Socios del Fútbol Español – FASFE (Spain)
Spanish Fans’ Embassy (Spain)
Camp Sweden (Sweden)
Fanarbeit Schweiz (Switzerland)
Groupe des Supporters du Togo – Maman Togo (Togo)
Ukrainian Fans’ Embassy (Ukraine)
Independent Supporters Council (USA/Canada)
American Outlaws (USA)
Barra 76 (USA)
FSA Cymru – Wales Fans’ Embassy (Wales)
Rainbow Wall (Wales)