Finland stands with Nordic nations against FIFA's biennial World Cup proposal

World football's governing body FIFA has proposed holding a World Cup finals every two years, a change from the current rotation of every four years.

Finland's players warming up before a recent World Cup 2022 qualifying game against Ukraine. Image: Matti Raivio/All Over Press

The Finnish Football Association has issued a statement alongside the five other Nordic nations opposing world football's governing body FIFA's proposal to stage the World Cup finals every two years.

The statement was released a few days before the 55 member nations of European football's governing body UEFA met with FIFA President Gianni Infantino on Wednesday, where they expressed their strong opposition to the plans.

News agency AFP reported (siirryt toiseen palveluun) after the meeting that up to a dozen European nations are considering rescinding their membership of FIFA if the body proceeds with plans to hold biennial World Cups for both men and women. Currently finals are held every four years.

The statement — signed by Finnish FA chief Ari Lahti and the presidents of the football associations of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Iceland — said the Nordic nations will consider taking serious action unless the proposal is shelved.

"If a majority in FIFA decides to adopt a proposal on biannual [sic] FIFA World Cups, the Nordic football associations will need to consider further actions and scenarios that are closer to our fundamental values than what the current FIFA proposal stands for," the press release (siirryt toiseen palveluun) stated.

The president of the Swedish football association, Karl-Erik Nilsson, told Sweden's nationwide evening newspaper Expressen that there is strong opposition to the proposal coming from South American countries as well as from the Europeans.

"The proposal is completely unacceptable," Nilsson said.

According to the BBC (siirryt toiseen palveluun), Infantino said after Wednesday's meeting that a possible boycott by European countries was never raised.

Story continues after the photo.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino. Image: Harold Cunningham - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

"Discussions were heated but they were positive," Infantino said. "I understand that. I am a passionate football person myself, and there can be many different views. It is so important for everyone to make their voice heard. Boycotts were not discussed today."

Saudi Arabia's football federation formally asked FIFA to conduct a "feasibility study" into holding World Cups every two years and the proposal received support from 166 countries at a remotely-held annual meeting of member associations in May. Some 22 nations were against the idea.

Although FIFA has not set a formal date for a decision on the proposal, a meeting of all 211 national members is expected to be held in December, where it will be discussed further.

The World Cup finals will be next played in Qatar in 2022, while the 2026 World Cup has been jointly awarded to Canada, the United States and Mexico.