Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter has taken aim at his successor Gianni Infantino ©Getty Images

Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter has labelled a plan being spearheaded by his successor Gianni Infantino to hold the men's World Cup every two years as an "imbecility".

In a wide-ranging interview with Europe 1, Blatter was highly critical of Infantino and his leadership since he took the reigns at FIFA in 2016 in the wake of the widespread corruption scandal.

Blatter, charged with fraud in November alongside former UEFA President Michel Platini over the now infamous "disloyal" payment between the two officials, also took aim at Infantino's recent decision to move to Qatar.

A proposal to stage the men's World Cup every two years instead of every four sent shockwaves through the world of football and caused significant controversy, leading to Europe and South America threatening to boycott the tournament if it went through.

Infantino spent large parts of last year lobbying for football's flagship event to switch from its traditional four-year cycle, despite opposition from organisations including UEFA and the International Olympic Committee.

After a quiet period where support for the dramatic change appeared to have waned, FIFA claimed at a global summit last month that a biennial World Cup would deliver an additional $4.4 billion (£3.2 billion/€3.9 billion) in revenues.

The plan has not yet been put to a formal vote of FIFA's membership.

Blatter acknowledged he had raised a similar idea when he was FIFA President but now claims it would be "bad for football".

Sepp Blatter claimed Gianni Infantino was not a good FIFA President ©Getty Images
Sepp Blatter claimed Gianni Infantino was not a good FIFA President ©Getty Images

"It’s an imbecility without name," said Blatter.

"I have to do my mea culpa because, when I was elected President of FIFA, during a first session, I said that we could organise a World Cup every two years.

"But people around me told me I was wrong. 

"But today with the overloaded schedule, there is something else. 

"It’s always the best players playing but they are already overloaded in their continental competitions, and national team. 

"And the base of FIFA is the club and not the national team. 

"It’s imbecility. 

"We can’t, it’s bad for football."

The 85-year-old, who has recovered from a heart illness, claimed Infantino "was not a good FIFA President".

Blatter alleged that Infantino's move to Qatar, confirmed by FIFA to Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick in response to its investigation, was a "relinquishment of the FIFA President’s responsibility".

"He is not doing his job properly," Blatter said.

"It’s a lack of global professional vision, because the President of FIFA must have a global view. 

"It’s not just a little corner in Zurich or Qatar, no, it’s the world. 

"The current President, I do not recognise his vision. 

"He’s not a good FIFA President, I have to say."