DUBAI, 29 December 2021 – It is unlikely that global football events, such as the World Cup, will be postponed or cancelled due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases around the world, Aleksander Ceferin, President of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), said during his visit to Expo 2020 Dubai on Wednesday (29 December).
Ceferin and his family took an exclusive tour of the Slovenia, Italy and Japan Pavilions, where they explored the different cultures and experiences that each country had to offer.
What is your impression of Expo 2020 Dubai?
“It is simply impressive. It is fantastic to see such an organised World Expo. You can see the world in one day, which is not easy to do. So, congratulations to Dubai for its great exhibition and great organisation. Given the circumstances, it is fantastic. Dubai is an open city, very welcoming to tourists and guests. I have great friends here, who help me, but either way it is a very nice city to go to with your family to enjoy life. It is impressive.”
Would UEFA be open to holding some football games in the UAE, or other countries in the region?
“I would not exclude it. We did not think or speak about it completely until now. But why not? Let us see what happens in the future.”
Considering the rising number of COVID-19 cases, does UEFA have any concerns about major football events being postponed or cancelled?
“You do not help yourself by worrying. You have to solve the problems first. We are still optimistic. We think that everything will go well. The situation last year was worse than this, because we did not know the virus and it was tougher. I am optimistic, and I think that big events will still be able to go on, and spectators will be able to attend the events.”
You’ve been strongly opposed to a two-year World Cup cycle, saying that a biennial World Cup could lead to a European boycott. Why do you feel it wouldn’t work?
“The World Cup has to be every four years in order to be interesting. Also, if it is every two years, it will cannibalise women’s football, other sports, the Olympic Games, and so on. It is simply a bad idea. Why are the Olympic Games, for example, every four years? It is an event that you need to look forward to. You need to wait, so you can enjoy it. The World Cup is the biggest football event, and it has to be every four years. It is very clear, about 75 per cent of fans around the world reject the idea.”
50 total views, 2 views today