Don Garber insists MLS deserves voice in biennial World Cup talks

MLS commissioner Don Garber claims domestic leagues deserve a greater voice in determining whether FIFA’s proposal to shift to a biennial World Cup becomes reality, adding it is ‘stakeholders that are really affected’ by these events. 

At this moment, FIFA is simply conducting a feasibility study into the practicalities of staging a World Cup every two years, a campaign that many have reacted to with criticism and dislike.  

While speaking to the Financial Times during their inaugural Business of Sport U.S. Summit Garber revealed that leagues are being communicated with, but not taken into serious consideration when it comes to making any high-ranking decision that would greatly affect schedules.

“At the end of the day we don’t really have a vote,” Garber told the virtual summit. “There is not a representative on the FIFA council from the leagues, there’s not a representative of the clubs.

“The stakeholders that are really affected by the decisions that would be made here don’t have a real say outside of being communicated with as to whether or not this is something that would support the investment we are making in those players.”

Garber added that it is too soon to say whether FIFA has made any type of decision, but urges stakeholders and league leaders to speak up with their concerns. 

“Our hope is that those various stakeholders that are affected by that change, should they decide to do that, would be in a position to actually weigh in as to whether it becomes a formal decision on behalf of FIFA and its council. It’s premature to go down that route. Right now we are collectively as a sport, globally, in a phase of trying to understand what is FIFA’s rationale.”

Many who are against the project have pointed out that a biennially-held tournament would negatively impact an already-packed annual football schedule. Critiques signal the possibility of greater injuries, less domestic tournaments and more international struggle. 

The most popular argument, however, seems to be that adding more versions of a World Cup would dilute the  historical and traditional aspect of it.