July 6 – Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has repeated his call for the World Cup to be played every two years as part of a complete overhaul of the international calendar.
FIFA is currently carrying out a feasibility study into making the men’s and women’s World Cup a biennial event despite concerns about how that would impact on the credibility of Continental competitions like the European Championship, the Copa America and the Gold Cup – all of which are currently taking place.
“More knockout matches, fewer qualifying games. That’s what the fans want,” Wenger, FIFA’s chief of global football development, told Kicker magazine in Germany.
“I always had the feeling that the many shorter breaks were rather unfavourable for the players. Those were always moments of uncertainty. How are the players feeling mentally afterwards? Do you come back hurt?”
Wenger has proposed a month-long international break in October for nations to play their entire qualifying campaign.
“The national teams can meet in October, play seven qualifying games for a month and then play the finals of a tournament in June.
“We want to reduce the number of games, that’s very important because we can see the condition of the players.”
The plan would see the number of days in the football calendar reserved for international breaks reduced from 50 to 28 as well as the number of qualifying matches cut from 10 to seven.
“We guarantee a period of rest after every tournament. Think of it this way: 2026 the World Cup in the USA, Mexico and Canada; 2027 a European Championship and the other continental tournaments; 2028 another World Cup; and so on,” he said.
“The competitions will all remain in place until 2024, and changes can only be made after that.”
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com