The chief executive of one of FIFA’s principal partners has become the latest figure to criticise the body’s plans to hold a World Cup every two years.
Kasper Rørsted, Adidas CEO, believes that holding the competition more regularly would only further crowd an already-congested footballing calendar.
Adidas has worked with FIFA since the 1970 World Cup and is the ball manufacturer at football’s show-piece tournament. The German sportswear giants also sponsor UEFA.
“I don’t think much of a football World Cup held every two years,” Rørsted told Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. “There’s a European Championship [in Europe], there’s a Copa América in Latin America. One should also leave space for other things. “I am a passionate football fan but it is important that not only football is shown on television, but also biathlon, skiing, tennis or handball.
The plans are being pushed heavily by Arsene Wenger, the former Arsenal manager who is now FIFA’s head of global football development.
It has been reported that they could be approved by the end of the year but they have been widely criticised, including by influential continental bodies UEFA and CONMEBOL.
Rørsted also criticised the plans for a European Super League that fell through in the spring. While admitting that the introduction of an ESL would benefit his organisation financially, the Dane believes the “elitist” tournament would be detrimental for football more widely. “Financially, the Super League would probably be attractive for us,” he said. “In the long-term, however, we believe that the love for sport from childhood arises from having access and it is something tangible.
“It is important for us that children have access to the stadiums and see their stars, not often, but every now and then. The competitions are not intended to be elitist events that can only be seen on television. “[Fans] do not want to see the same master over and over again. When Leicester won the Premier League a few years ago, they said: ‘Great.’ The enthusiasm was similar when Lille won the league in France this year. There is a lust for the underdog to win.”