Arsene Wenger wants FIFA World Cup to happen every TWO years from 2028 with mandatory rest periods to protect players… claiming fans want ‘high-stakes’ competitions and insisting there is NO financial motive for his plan
- Arsene Wenger called for the FIFA World Cup to take place every two years
- Wenger is FIFA global head of development and said it could happen from 2028
- Wenger, 71, said fans want ‘high-stakes, easy-to-understand competitions’
Arsene Wenger has called for a dramatic overhaul of international football that would see the FIFA World Cup taking place every two years from 2028.
The former Arsenal manager, who is now FIFA’s head of global development, has spoken about his desire to change the world football calendar for some time, and has now revealed how he believes the new system could work.
Wenger’s proposals are focused on reducing the amount of international fixtures in the calendar, and he has suggested that there would be a single period in each year for international qualifiers.
Arsene Wenger (left, pictured with Jurgen Klop), has called for a World Cup every two years
Wenger proposed one period of qualifiers in a single year, and compulsory rests for players
‘The principle would be a grouping of qualifiers every year, and at the end of the season a major competition, World Cup or continental championship,’ Wenger told L’Equipe in an interview published on Friday.
‘Between the two qualifying windows, the player would stay in his club all year round.’
Wenger is keen for his proposals to come into effect in 2028, two years after the 2026 World Cup in North America and Mexico. The 71-year-old said a clearer calendar with less congestion will mean less travel for players.
‘There must be less of a mix in the calendar between the periods of club football and periods of international football, and therefore fewer transcontinental trips for the players, for example,’ he said.
In May FIFA Congress approved a study to look into moving the World Cup to every two years
FIFA president Gianni Infantino warned of financial disparities in world football back in May
‘For the players, there will be no more matches, and there will be compulsory rest after the final stages, at least 25 days.’
FIFA’s Congress voted back in May by 166 to 22 to study a proposal into having the World Cup every two years, after FIFA president Gianni Infantino raised concerns over the ‘financial and sporting disparities’ in the global game – and the dominance of European football.
How Wenger’s plans will be received by the likes of UEFA and CONMEBOL, who host the European Championship and the Copa America respectively, remains to be seen.
He insisted in the interview that there is ‘no financial intention’ behind his radical re-think despite his position at FIFA.
Wenger, who is FIFA global head of development, said his plans have ‘no financial intention’
But Wenger sees the current global football landscape as being too cluttered, and believes fans want a simpler experience with more meaningful matches.
‘What people want today are high-stakes, easy-to-understand competitions,’ he said.
‘It’s a global project, for men’s football, but also for women’s football and youth competitions,’ he added.
World Cups are the main source of income for FIFA, making up the lion’s share of £4.5billion of revenue it expects to earn in the current four-year cycle, which ends with the competition in Qatar in 2022.
In contrast, in 2019-20 alone UEFA’s revenues were £2.6bn and over the four-year period more than £10bn.
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