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WSL Says biennial World Cup will damage women’s game

 

England’s top two women’s leagues have warned FIFA plans for biennial men’s and women’s World Cups will have a “profoundly detrimental” impact on the female game.

FIFA is proposing to shorten the gap between the men’s and women’s showpiece events from four years to two as part of changes to the new international calendar from 2024 onwards.

The Women’s Super League and Championship were among 10 European competitions to sign a statement issued on Monday, along with the continent’s governing body UEFA and the European Club Association, which called for FIFA to engage in a “genuine, joint and open forum” with women’s football stakeholders.

“The proposed plans by FIFA to stage both the men’s and women’s World Cup tournaments every two years will have profoundly detrimental sporting, economic, societal and many other impacts that will fundamentally alter the course and development of the women’s game,” the statement began.

“The fast-paced nature of the (so far) very selective consultation process and all-but agreed proposals have not allowed a careful reflection on what is in the best interests of the future development of women’s football or adequately assessed the possible irreversible consequences such a change might entail.”

Former United States coach Jill Ellis is leading a technical advisory group working on proposals for the women’s calendar, alongside a similar group overseen by ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looking at the men’s game.

Less has been seen of Ellis’ proposals, though from Wenger’s plans it is clear the Women’s World Cup would have to take place in the same summer as a major men’s tournament.

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