The FIFA Council has approved a global summit on a shake-up of the international football calendar ©Getty Images

The FIFA Council has approved a global summit on the international calendar - and principally the proposal to stage World Cups every two years - on December 20.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino claimed to be "confident" that a consensus can be reached on the global calendar at the event, but it will not be an Extraordinary Congress, which would have had the power to enact a new calendar.

The Council, which met today, also approved the United Arab Emirates as the replacement host for the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup - which will now be scheduled in early 2022.

Qatari capital Doha has been confirmed as the venue for the next FIFA Congress, on March 31.

The prospect of a biennial World Cup - something UEFA, the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) and International Olympic Committee have all voiced opposition to - remains divisive and the most pressing issue discussed by the Council.

"We must re-think the way in which global football is structured," Infantino - who also claimed his "role is exactly to listen to everyone, to give a voice to every side" - insisted.

"We must improve the quality of global football.

"We have to see if it's possible to organise more meaningful competitions for the fans - for the fans, because we are all fans - without adding additional dates to the current match calendar.

"And it's the sporting motivations that are guiding us, not the financial motivations.

"The sporting motivations.

"So we speak about football, not about revenues.

"We will have to speak as well about revenues obviously and about investment of these revenues into the world of football."

Gianni Infantino remains optimistic that
Gianni Infantino remains optimistic that "we can reach an agreement" on plans to hold the World Cup every two years ©Getty Images

The FIFA President thanked Jill Ellis and Arsène Wenger for their work in driving the proposals to host a World Cup every two years.

Wenger is FIFA's chief of global development, while Ellis heads the FIFA Technical Advisory Group.

Wenger says the existing men's calendar "doesn’t work anymore and is outdated", while Ellis has claimed a Women's World Cup every two years would be capable of "elevating" the women's game at large.

The next men's World Cup is due to be hosted in Qatar late next year, before the United States, Mexico and Canada stage the first 48-team World Cup in 2026.

Australia and New Zealand are staging the next Women's World Cup in 2023, with that the first edition of the event expanded to 32 teams.

"Actually it's a World Cup every year," Infantino pointed out, with the men's event to take place in even years and the women's in odd-numbered ones under the biennial plans.

Infantino went on to claim World Cups "organised in one country are probably a thing of the past" and touted cross-border bids from both Africa and South America when prompted about the regions.

The debate has been "heated" and something new for FIFA, according to its President, but the Swiss official remains optimistic that "we can reach an agreement".

"I am confident that on the 20th of December we will be able - and it was the aim that I expressed to the Council and was supported by all the Council members - that by the 20th of December we can present a common solution," Infantino said.

"How this will look like?

"For me everything is open."