FIFA’s agenda at the meeting is set to be dominated by sanctions imposed on Russian football after the country’s invasion of Ukraine, with the global governing body set to bury a plan to hold a World Cup every two years, which will not even be discussed at the global body’s annual congress.
Russia has been expelled from the race to secure places at this year’s Qatar World Cup. Members will be called upon to back the exclusion at the congress. The biennial World Cup has been left off the agenda, with only changes to the women’s football calendar scheduled for a vote by the 211 member associations.
While no “concrete talks” have been started, regional confederations are considering a new version of the Confederations Cup featuring teams from Europe and South America.
An idea to enlarge Europe’s League of Nations to take in South American countries has also been mooted. For the past year, FIFA President Gianni Infantino has been under fire from critics, particularly in Europe, over his proposals to turn the World Cup from an event held every four years to a biennial tournament.
At one stage last year, those plans looked set to be voted on at the congress, risking a split in the game, but FIFA has shelved the idea after the widespread -- and often fierce -- criticism.
Infantino, who faces an election at next year’s congress, is expected to focus his speech on Qatar’s preparations for November’s tournament.
Yesterday, the FIFA Council met in advance of the Congress in Doha, and adopted new regulations concerning the loan of players in international football.
The meeting, which was in a hybrid format as some members were unable to attend due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, marked the first time that the FIFA Council met in person since October 24, 2019.
These regulations, which are based on the recommendations of the FIFA Football Stakeholders Committee to facilitate the development of young players, promote competitive balance and prevent the hoarding of players by clubs, were approved. They will come into force on July 1, 2022.