FIFA’s plan to increase the frequency of the World Cup has drawn criticism from Adidas, one of their leading sponsors.
Kasper Rørsted, CEO of Adidas, has joined a growing number of people within football in voicing opposition to the plans of a biennial World Cup which could be approved by FIFA as early as the end of this year.
Speaking to a Danish newspaper, Rørsted said: “I don’t think much of a football World Cup held every two years. There’s a European Championship here, there’s a Copa América in Latin America. One should also leave space for other things.”
“I am a passionate football fan … but I think it is important that not only football is shown on television but also biathlon, skiing, tennis or handball. If you push just one product heavily it is not good for any product.”
However, FIFA President Gianni Infantino has defended the new proposals stating that “The prestige of an event depends on its quality, not its frequency.”
He added: “You have the Super Bowl every year, Wimbledon or the Champions League every year, and everyone is excited and waiting for it.”
Rørsted’s views carry significant weight given that Adidas possess a long historical relationship with FIFA dating back to the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, where they became the official supplier of World Cup balls. The current deal with FIFA expires after the centennial World Cup in 2030.