Arsene Wenger claims football is coming around to his idea of a World Cup every two years as the former Arsenal boss challenged his critics to devise a better alternative to his ambitious plan.
Last month Wenger, who is now FIFA’s head of global development, unveiled his idea for the famous tournament to be held every two years in a bid to reduce the amount of international fixtures in the calendar and allow longer rest periods for players.
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 believes a clearer calendar with less congestion will mean less travel for players.
Arsene Wenger has claimed that football is warming to the idea of a biennial World Cup
The Frenchman’s proposal has been met with strong opposition from the likes of UEFA and CONMEBOL, while fans have also been divided over his plan.
Yet Wenger believes that football is warming to a biennial World Cup, and demanded his detractors to offer a more agreeable alternative.
‘I consulted everyone and I asked them two questions. 1. Do you want things to continue as they are? 100% said no. 2. Do you have ideas to reorganise the international calendar? I am open to all ideas,’ he told L’Equipe via GetFrenchFootballNews.
Wenger, 71, has proposed the change to ease the international calendar and help stars recover
The notion has been met with criticism, with UEFA chief Aleksander Ceferin expressing ‘grave concerns’ about the plan
‘Between 80% to 90% of people like the idea of reorganising qualification rounds, to shorten them, and to make space for an international competition.
‘A World Cup every two years, there was more reticence towards it because there is something emotional in it. We are all in this routine and cycle of a World Cup every 4 years which seems natural. But when you look at history, it is not that natural.
‘I am open to all suggestions and all criticisms. They are welcome for me. This is not a personal fight for me. The only thing that I ask is that those who are criticising the project, that they give me something better. But don’t try to denigrate my credibility. I would prefer that people criticise the project and tell me why.’
Wenger has challenged his detractors to devise a better alternative to his proposal
There are also fears that holding a World Cup every two years would take away from the tournament’s value and prestige, with France manager Didier Deschamps expressing such concerns over the international break.
Wenger admitted that he understands this argument, but insisted that football must respond to demands for major events.
‘It is normal to want to protect its prestige,’ he added. ‘But by analysing the perception of time in our modern society where everything is becoming quicker and quicker, the demand for major events is also greater and I want to keep this idea of clarity and simplicity in the world of football, that people understand which competition is being played.
‘Football needs to remain a sport that is simple to understand. ‘
- Arsène Wenger insists his World Cup every 2 years proposal is gathering traction | Get French Football News