Q&A: Alexi Lalas on hearing FIFA’s case for a World Cup every two years

It’s an idea that’s been floating around for quite some time now: what if FIFA, everybody’s favorite governing body, staged a World Cup every two years, instead of every four? And what if they made other changes – overhauling and streamlining the international calendar, for example, or aligning other major continental tournaments with each other?

FIFA is currently undertaking a feasibility study to examine all of those possibilities, and more. It’s led by former Arsenal head coach Arsene Wenger, who currently serves as the organization’s global head of football development; as part of the study, they presented some of their ideas to a group of “legends” in Doha, Qatar. Ronaldo (Fenomeno), Tim Cahill, Ryan Nelsen, Jared Borgetti, Roberto Carlos and a host of others sat and listened while FIFA tried to curry favor with all of them.

Among those players was also an American, Fox Sports commentator Alexi Lalas. Lalas, a veteran of two World Cups and a fixture in the American game. Earlier this week, Lalas sat down for a 30-minute chat about his experience in Qatar. Lalas’ answers have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

So how did you get involved in all of this? 

It came about quickly. I think a week and a half before it actually happened, I got the call as to my availability. It didn’t take me long to say “yeah, this is pretty cool.” I’d never been to Qatar and obviously we (at Fox) are going there next year, so the curiosity of what that place is was part of the decision. I’d been on Zoom calls before with this group, but nothing this specific, that was bigger picture stuff. This all came about really quickly.

So why you? You have no current official affiliation with U.S. Soccer, obviously you are a former player but you’re a pundit now.


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.