After football’s top governing body FIFA announced their plans to stage World Cups biennially, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin expressed “grave concerns” over the lack of consultation by Gianni Infantino ahead of proceeding with the idea, according to media reports on Friday.

In a response to a letter from Football Supporters Europe executive director Ronan Evain, Ceferin backed the group’s “extremely valid and important” concerns about the potential damage caused to domestic and regional competitions from altering the frequency of World Cups, which now occurs once in every four years.

FIFA President Infantino has been pushing to feature a men’s or women’s World Cup every year by transforming the calendar, however, the idea has given rise to a new rift with UEFA. 

UEFA and its national associations also have serious reservations and grave concerns surrounding reports of FIFA’s plans,” Ceferin wrote to Evain, according to Associated Press inputs.

The plans first surfaced in May when Saudi Arabia’s national federation formally asked FIFA at a conference to explore the possibility of biennial men’s and women’s World Cups, despite the country not having a women’s squad to play in international competitions themselves.

The Saudis have emerged as one of Infantino’s closest allies and the FIFA president has made at least two trips to Saudi Arabia this year to see Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“Considering the major impact this reform may have on the whole organisation of football,” Ceferin wrote, “there is widespread astonishment that FIFA appears to be launching a PR campaign to push its proposal whilst any such proposals haven’t been presented to confederations, national associations, leagues, clubs, players, coaches, clubs and all the football community.”

A World Cup every two years will massively impact the footballing schedule as also put pressure on the players who are already treading a fine line while dealing with a heavy fixture schedule thanks to a COVID-disrupted season.