Socceroos legend John Aloisi and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) have joined the growing international chorus against FIFA's push for a biennial World Cup, with it still unclear what Football Australia's position on the controversial proposal is.
Delegates at FIFA's global summit were told on Monday that shifting to a two-year model for World Cups would generate in excess of £3.3 billion in additional revenue that, on average, would see approximately £12.1 million in additional funding distributed to member federations by the global body. FIFA president Gianni Infantino is seeking to marshal support from the organisation's 211 members in the face of increasingly stiff resistance to what has become his signature policy.
European confederation UEFA and South American confederation CONMEBOL have been vociferous in their opposition to the concept, with the latter declaring after an in-person meeting of its members in October that it would not participate, saying "there are no reasons, benefits or justification for the change promoted by FIFA."
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Last week, UEFA vice president Zbigniew Boniek revealed plans for 10 South American nations to join the UEFA Nations League from 2024; a move clearly designed to counter FIFA.
The International Olympic Committee has also expressed "concerns'' over the plan.
Football Australia declined repeated requests for comment by ESPN for its position on the staging of biennial World Cups, but others in Australian football were clear in their views.
Aloisi, manager of A-League Men side Western United, believes that moving the World Cup to take place in alternating years would cheapen the event, as well as create further player welfare issues. Retiring and going into coaching in 2011, it was Aloisi's famous penalty that sent the Socceroos to its first World Cup in 32 years back in 2005.
"I'd rather it not be every two years," he told ESPN.
"I think it would take away how it's so special every four years because you look forward to it -- every four years. If it becomes every two years I think that it can be too much.
"I'd rather it stay the way it is. You've got the Euros every four years; the Copa America. If the World Cup is every two years it's too much.
"Plus, it's too much for a player as well, in terms of how many games they end up playing. I know that some people would love it but I think every four years as it is and every four years as it has been since it started is the way to go."
Beau Busch, a former Sydney FC player and current PFA co-chief executive, joined Aloisi in expressing reservations.
"It is clear that the International Match Calendar needs urgent reform with some players already beyond their physical limit in terms of the matches they are playing each season, whilst others simply do not play enough, highlighting the need for genuine reform," Busch told ESPN.
"The proposed reforms from FIFA do not address the current problems and are likely to exacerbate many of the existing problems.
"The players are the ones tasked with bringing these competitions to life yet FIFA has not sought to adequately engage their representatives, without the agreement of the players FIFA's proposed reforms lack any legitimacy."
Aloisi and the PFA's stance would appear to be supported by the Australian Professional Leagues (APL), the body that runs the A-League Men and A-League Women competitions. At its Annual Meeting on Dec. 3, the World Leagues Forum -- of which the APL has been a member since 2018 -- called on FIFA to "unequivoqually (sic) abandon" their proposal, citing two studies that stated its adoption could cost domestic leagues up to €8.5 billion per season.
"The World Leagues Forum requests FIFA to unequivocally abandon its biennial World Cup proposal as it is unwanted by fans and would destroy value for football at every level," said chairman Enrique Bonilla.
ESPN has approached the APL for comment.