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Despite the biennial Nations Cup, Africa supports the biennial World Cup

Africa supports the staging of the soccer world championship every two years, although it already organizes the African Nations Cup every two years.

Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Patrice Motsepe said his organization was firmly behind Saudi Arabia’s proposal at last month’s FIFA Congress.

“The highest body of Caf felt it necessary to express its support for this excellent resolution,” said the South African after the meeting of the executive committee in Morocco on Friday.

“Given the serious financial challenges, lack of infrastructure and facilities, African football could probably be the biggest beneficiary of a World Cup every two years.”

A two-year competition would double Fifa’s revenues, which the Feasibility of the Saudi proposal, turns his most lucrative competition.

Africa’s hope is that any increase in revenue will ultimately penetrate its member associations, who could then use the money to develop the sport.

However, Motsepe could not explain how Africa could host a World and Nations Cup and their qualification campaigns every two years.

Currently, the final is being played in alternate years after Caf postponed the Nations Cup from even to odd years in 2013 to avoid holding the competition in the same year as a World Cup.

One of the reasons for this was the poor performance of the African teams at the World Cup, despite the fact that none of their teams have reached the quarter-finals, furthest away from the continent, since the move.

“Of course we have to look at the entirety of our competitions,” said Motsepe when asked how biannual world and national competitions could work.

“The World Cup, which takes place every two years, is checked by Fifa and has to go through the processes. At the right time, we will make the right decisions in order to position African football correctly.”

Overcrowded calendar

Africa’s top teams are already facing a challenging year 2022.

They start the year with a Nations Cup in Cameroon, delayed by the coronavirus, from January to February, while they will end it at the World Cup in Qatar from November to December.

Saudi Arabia’s proposal to Fifa members during a virtual congress last month was adopted by an overwhelming majority, with 166 member nations voting in favor, while only 22 were against.

In a desperate effort to build Africa’s global standing through a mix of investment and development plans, Motsepe is open to the future of the world and the African Games.

“Holding the World Cup every two years will be of great benefit to the world, but definitely more to the developing world,” he said in Morocco ahead of the African Champions League final on Saturday.

“If a readjustment and a re-evaluation (of our competitions) is necessary, we will do that. At the moment it is still a little early to postulate what will happen to our competitions.”

Although Gianni Infantino before recommended the Nations Cup should be held every four years, an issue on which Motsepe disagrees with the Fifa president.

Infantino questioned the commercial benefits of a Nations Cup every two years, though that is now the proposal that Fifa is exploring with its own elite competition.

“We believe that the future of football is at a critical point,” said the president of the Saudi Arabian Football Association when he proposed a more regular World Cup.

“It is important to review how the global game is structured. This also includes whether the current four-year cycle remains the optimal basis for the management of football from a competitive and commercial point of view as well as for all football development.”

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