US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro has claimed the Fifa Confederations Cup has been scrapped and suggested that the Concacaf Gold Cup could go the same way.
The Confederations Cup, which features all of the reigning continental champions along with the current World Cup winners and upcoming World Cup host nation, has served as a test event for the World Cup since 2005.
“It’s done and over with,” Cordeiro told The Athletic at the US Soccer general meeting. “In place of Confederations Cup there will be intra-continental playoffs to get to that 48-team (World Cup).”
Cordeiro added that the Concacaf Gold Cup featuring nations in the North American region could come to an end after this year’s edition and the event in 2021.
“The Gold Cup is only legislated for this year and 2021, so it could go on but it may not happen,” he said. “There have been talks in the last year between (South American federation) Conmebol and Concacaf on a kind of combined Copa America but they haven’t been able to come to an agreement on that.”
After Cordeiro’s comments became public, Gold Cup organisers Concacaf swiftly moved to clarify the status of the competition.
“Following recent media reports, Concacaf clarifies that it is fully committed to the Concacaf Gold Cup and confirms that the 2019, 2021 and 2023 editions are part of the Fifa Calendar,” the statement said.
“Additionally, once the new Fifa calendar is produced after 2023, Concacaf will continue organising the pinnacle event of our confederation.”
In addition to plans for a 48-team World Cup, Fifa has put forward plans for the creation of a new 24-team Club World Cup, held every four years, and a global version of Uefa’s Nations League. Although details of the proposals are sketchy, it is thought Fifa president Gianni Infantino wants the new competitions to start in 2021, a plan that would disrupt the International Match Calendar, which has been agreed up to 2024.
The proposals have brought him into conflict with European football stakeholders. On Monday, Uefa’s Professional Football Strategy Council (PFSC), a body that brings the governing body together with the ECA, professional leagues and players, said it would like Infantino to discuss their proposals for the harmonisation of the calendar post-2024 before entertaining his plans.
SportBusiness understands the PFSC is calling for all confederation tournaments to take place at the same time, two years after the Fifa World Cup, allowing a rest period every other summer for the leading players.