Put player needs at centre of changes to international schedule – Sue Campbell

The heavy demands on players should be given proper consideration before deciding whether to make the men’s and women’s World Cups biennial events, the head of the women’s game in England has said.

The FIFA Congress will consider a proposal from the Saudi Arabian Football Federation on Friday to hold a feasibility study on the impact of playing the global tournaments every two years instead of every four.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has previously floated the idea of a Women’s World Cup every two years, suggesting there was no need to “copy what the men are doing” and to “get the creative juices flowing” on competitions which could drive interest and participation in the women’s game.

  • 2021 - Tokyo Olympics

  • 2022 - Women's Euro

  • 2023 - Women's World Cup

  • 2024 - Paris Olympics

  • 2025 - Women's Euro

Baroness Sue Campbell, the director of women’s football at the Football Association, pointed out the calendar in the elite game is already packed and that it would have serious impact on continental finals such as the Women’s Euro.

“The most important thing when we look at these things is to put the player at the centre of any decision we make,” she said.

“Having a look at the next few summers, it’s incredibly demanding. Our players will not get a summer break for years to come – we’ve got the Olympics this summer, a home Euros, followed by the World Cup followed by the Olympics again.

“That’s a pretty demanding schedule and if you’re going to change that schedule of course there will be some casualties.

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“We have to weigh up, as we try to develop and expand the game across the world, what is in the best interests of women’s football, and not just in the best interests of the shop window, and I think that’s the balance that somebody has got to strike.”

The Congress will also consider a separate proposal from the Jamaican federation “requesting a global women’s football competition concept to be prepared”.

Infantino has previously talked about having a Club World Cup for the women’s game.