Man City and Leeds United join forces to hit back at FIFA over controversial suggestion

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Premier League chiefs have hit out at FIFA officials after the world governing body suggested changing the format of the World Cup.

The usual 32-team tournament has been played every four years since its inception in 1930, with nations across the world looking forward to competing as they try to win the globe’s most prestigious footballing competition.

However plans to change the tournament have ramped up in the last few years, with FIFA bosses aiming to host the tournament every two years instead.

FIFA’s chief of global football development and ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is thought to be the driving force behind the change, which has been poorly received by fans across the world.

The football governing body are set to bring in famous players and coaches to a conference in Doha, Qatar to discuss the newly proposed changes.

But if Premier League chairmen are to be believed, the move would be awful for the game.

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Manchester City chief Ferran Soriano hit out at the idea, with the Spaniard heavily criticising the idea to make footballers play for twelve months of the year.

“There is no space [in the calendar] for anything,” Soriano said.

“No room at all. The players cannot play more games, for sure.”

Soriano previously aired similar thoughts in 2019, where he believed the idea would be suitable only if the rest of the football calendar was less demanding on the players.

“Improving this format and changing it for the best seems logical,” he admitted.

“There are all sorts of political issues because the world of football is global, it is a big family, and among the members of the family there are different interests, and they have merit. But if we play more games, we have to take games off.

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“The players cannot play more games. I know sometimes, from a fan’s perspective it seems like the life of a football player is a great life, but they work a lot. They are under a lot of pressure.

“They have, if they are lucky, four or five weeks of rest through the year. There are many other sports where players rest for two or three months.”

And Leeds chief Andrea Radrizzani echoed those thoughts, stating that there is a clear disconnection between FIFA and their stakeholders.

“I would like four years but perhaps there could be a discussion around every three [years],” Radrizzani said.

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“Why shouldn’t FIFA engage? In my opinion there is a disconnect.”

Other competitions such as the European Championships and Copa Libertadores would still go ahead in the summers in between, meaning players would constantly be playing football.

It would spell the end of major international qualifying breaks, with just two of them every season.

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