The FIFA Council has endorsed the holding of a global summit on Monday, 20 December 2021 by videoconference in order to discuss the future of football after receiving a detailed update on the ongoing consultation process on the topic.
“We need to think about how we develop the football of the future and to ensure our sport is meaningful, exciting and robust for future generations across the entire world,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino after the latest FIFA Council meeting, held by videoconference. “This is not necessarily the case today, and as the international match calendars are not decided beyond 2023 and 2024 for women’s and men’s football respectively, this is a crucial moment to ensure the further development of our sport across all 211 FIFA member associations. As mandated by the recent FIFA Congress, FIFA is considering all opinions in an inclusive and thorough consultation process.”
“As world football’s governing body, it is FIFA’s responsibility to stimulate such a debate, and I am encouraged by the healthy exchanges that have been made to date from all sides,” the FIFA President added. “Everyone should have their voice heard, and precisely through the consultation process, I have discovered that many stakeholders have never had the opportunity to discuss this topic properly. This consultation process is addressing that, and we will continue with the objective of reaching a consensus with solutions that work for everyone’s benefit. By hosting a global summit later this year, we will now have the opportunity to present one plan and to provide feedback to all our FIFA member associations.”
Following the request by FIFA’s member associations at the 71st FIFA Congress in May 2021 that a feasibility study be carried out to explore the possible impact of holding the FIFA World Cup and the FIFA Women’s World Cup every two years instead of four, FIFA has been implementing a comprehensive consultation process involving all stakeholders. This process has focused on addressing international match calendar issues for both women’s and men’s football, presenting proposals for global youth tournaments, and ensuring all proposals support player health and well-being.
The FIFA Council’s decision will now provide the platform for FIFA’s 211 member associations to further discuss the proposals in the coming weeks, with the objective of reaching an agreement on the structures of club and national team competition windows within the international match calendars for women’s and men’s football.
In addition, the FIFA Council also appointed the United Arab Emirates to host the seven-team FIFA Club World Cup 2021 in early 2022 with the precise details to be communicated later.
In relation to the current international match calendar for women’s football (2020-2023), the FIFA Council approved three amendments:
- 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup play-off tournament: February 13-23, 2023 (exclusively for the teams involved in this tournament)
- International window: July 10-18, 2023
- 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup: July 20- August 20, 2023
The FIFA Council confirmed that the 72nd FIFA Congress will be held on Thursday, March 31, 2022 in Doha, Qatar, in conjunction with the Final Draw for the 2022 FIFA World Cup – Qatar. The FIFA President also informed the FIFA Council of his intention to be closer to the FIFA World Cup and, therefore, to divide his presence between Zurich, Doha and across the world, in order to deliver his presidential duties.