March 17 – Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s chief of global football development, is calling for an overhaul of the entire calendar – including holding the World Cup and Euros every two years.
The former Arsenal manager (pictured right with his boss Gianni Infantino) also wants to reduce the number of international breaks imposed on domestic football, the latest of which takes place after this weekend, and do away with meaningless competitions.
“If you look at the teams in the World Cups usually the average age is 27/28. That’s why, because the World Cup, is every four years there are very few chances to win it again because when they go back to the next World Cup they are 32/33.
“That’s why maybe we should organise the World Cup every two years,” Wenger told beIN Sports.
Wenger, who has been critical in the past of UEFA’s new Nations League tournament, added: “Kick all the rest out. Organise only competitions of meaning and kick all the parallel competitions out of the game. People must understand what is at stake and only have games with meaning.”
Wenger has called for a series of reforms, including tweaking the offside law, ever since taking up his new role in November 2019.
The Frenchman says it is perfectly possible to squeeze international breaks into shorter periods.
“I would say that one of the solutions we will discuss is to compact the qualifiers. Instead of going away in October, November, September, March, June, we regroup the qualifiers all in one month or two quadruples in October and in February. The players can then dedicate their time to their club from March until June, and we would gain four dates.”
He also wants FIFA to consider bringing in uniform scheduling, playing from March to November in a single year instead of half of each year.
March to November was how seasons worked when he managed in Japan in charge of Nagoya Grampus Eight in the mid-1990s.
“It was perfect. You would not have anymore ‘he won the Championship in season 2018-19.’ No, the championship was won in 2018 or 2019 and in 2020.
” I believe we have to re-organise the calendar completely.”
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