By Neto Baptiste
Technical director for football here in Antigua and Barbuda, Sowerby Gomes, is backing the FIFA proposed biannual World Cup which would see the body’s biggest international competition contested every two years.
Speaking recently on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Gomes who is also a former national defender, believes that a biannual tournament brings more opportunities for exposure while providing teams from this part of the world with more opportunities to qualify for the final.
“We get more chances of taking a bite at the cherry and we get more opportunity for our players to get exposed, so instead of waiting four years to take part in this particular tournament, it would be every two years. More players would get exposure; it means our younger under-20 team gets the chance to develop more as a result as they get more opportunities to participate,” he said.
In a recent communique to its members, FIFA announced its plans to go ahead with holding the World Cup every two years, despite widespread opposition to the idea.
The plans, which have been publicly fronted by Arsene Wenger, also include a shortening of the qualification process as well as a reduction in the amount of international breaks held during the club season.
Gomes said that having heard FIFA’s plans he is convinced it will work.
“With this bi-annual World Cup, it means that those players who play for their professional teams whether it be in the English Premier League, Bundesliga and so forth, there would be a particular window that FIFA now would earmark for international games, so the windows would not be staggered like how it is being staggered right now where it might be three or four times per year, but with the bi-annual, it would be either once or twice within the year and it would be for a longer period of time,” he said.
FIFA’s proposals are far from universally backed, even if the confederation do seem set to proceed with the changes. UEFA have voiced opposition to the idea and a string of high-profile footballing figures, including Jurgen Klopp, have also been critical.