Africa has given its backing to staging the World Cup every two years even though it already hosts the African Cup of Nations on a biennial basis.
Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Patrice Motsepe said his organisation firmly backs the proposal put forward by Saudi Arabia at last month’s Fifa Congress.
“The highest body of Caf deemed it necessary to express its support for that excellent resolution,” the South African said after Friday’s Executive Committee meeting in Morocco.
“Taking into account the serious financial challenges, lack of infrastructure and facilities, African football could probably be the biggest beneficiary of a World Cup every two years.”
Staging the competition biennially would double the income Fifa, which is studying the feasibility of the Saudi proposal, makes from its most lucrative competition.
Africa’s hope is that any boost in revenue would ultimately filter down to its member associations which could then use the funds to develop the sport.
Yet Motsepe was unable to explain how Africa would be able to accommodate both a World Cup and Nations Cup, and their qualifying campaigns, every other year.
At present, the finals are played in alternative years after Caf moved the Nations Cup from even to odd years in 2013 in order to avoid staging the competition in the same year as a World Cup.
One of the reasons given for this was the poor performance of African teams at the World Cup, although none of its side have reached the quarter-finals – the furthest the continent has ever gone – since the switch.
“We will obviously have to look at the totality of our competitions,” Motsepe said when asked how biennial World Cups and Nations Cups could work.