FILE - CAF President Patrice Motsepe. Photo: Alain Guy Suffo/BackpagePix
FILE - CAF President Patrice Motsepe. Photo: Alain Guy Suffo/BackpagePix

CAF boss Patrice Motsepe sits on the fence while the two-year World Cup debate rages on

By Herman Gibbs Time of article published Sep 15, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - CAF President Patrice Motsepe has decided against nailing his colours to the mast on the topical subject of football's showpiece competition, the Fifa World Cup, to become a biennial event rather than retain its present four-year cycle.

The controversial idea was mooted by Fifa president, Gianni Infantino. It later gained a fair bit of traction when former Arsenal gaffer Arsene Wenger said he was throwing his weight behind the proposal of a World Cup every two years. Nowadays, Wenger is a director of development at the world governing body Fifa.

After Fifa made public its feasibility study on the subject, several former players have openly supported the concept.

Among those who have hailed the concept is African football legend Yaya Touré, who over eight years was capped 230 times for Premier League champions Manchester City.

Touré is a four-time African Footballer of the Year after winning the accolade in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. He represented Ivory Coast at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 Fifa World Cup tournaments.

ALSO READ: A biennial World Cup will taint prestige of the spectacle

While the debate has raged on worldwide, Motsepe has urged stakeholders to have "an open mind" on the matter since federations are considering Fifa's controversial plans.

In a statement, Motsepe said: 'The Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) has been involved in the discussions that are taking place amongst Fifa, the Confederations, Member Associations, football players and other stakeholders concerning hosting the Fifa World Cup every two years.

CAF is of the view that at this stage, what is most important, is for the discussions and deliberations to continue taking place, in an open-minded manner and to do what is in the best interest of all Member Associations, the Confederations, football players and other stakeholders worldwide.

'CAF is deeply committed to the development, growth and success of football in Africa and the rest of the world.

'We believe that the long-term growth and success of Fifa, the Member Associations and all the confederations are inextricably intertwined.

"We are also confident that through discussions and deliberations, we will find solutions together and do what is in the best interest of football and our stakeholders on all continents worldwide."

Motsepe will be joined by Fifa bigwigs Infantino and Fifa Secretary General Fatma Samoura this week in Nigeria, where a women's tournament will be in progress.

Safa president Danny Jordaan will meet with them there and will be staging a bid, on behalf of South Africa, to win the hosting rights for the Fifa Club World Cup in December.

@Herman_Gibbs

IOL Sport

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