“The risk is to make football better” – Wenger ready to ‘gamble’ with contentious World Cup plans

By Obiajulu Chiagoziem

Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s chief of global football development, is “ready to take that gamble” by attempting to push through plans for the World Cup to be staged every two years.

Although being faced by alot of critisms, Wenger has insisted that this change is for the good of the game.

The one time Arsenal boss proposed that the World Cup be held every two years and that there are fewer international breaks throughout the year.

“The risk is to make football better, and I’m ready to take that gamble,” Wenger told BBC Sport.

“The international match calendar is fixed until 2024. Until then, nothing can change. I’ve been guided by a few ideas to propose a plan to reshape the international calendar.

“The first one is to make football better all over the world. The second one is to have a more modern way and more simple way to organise the calendar. 

“Therefore, I want to reduce the number of qualifiers and to regroup the qualifying periods.”

Wenger even claimed that had it been he was still a manager, he’d still back it up.

Recall that he left Arsenal in 2018 after 22 years at the club.

“I’d agree with what I propose because I think for the club it’s much better,” he said. “There’s no interference during the season. I suffered a lot from interference during the season.

“It’s not about me, it is about the proposal to make football better, clearer, more simple and more meaningful to the world.

“I am convinced that the clubs gain in it because they can focus completely, they have their players available for the whole season and the national teams benefit from it as well.

“There’s no increase of number of games, there’s a better rest period, less travelling and more quality competition. That’s why I think this project is really defendable.

“Yesterday I was in a very long meeting with [players union] FIFPRO, we consult everybody. We are conscious that we need to talk to everybody. 

“I think I’ve convinced FIFPRO that in my programme the players were my first worry.”

Most people’s fear is that should Arsene Wenger’s suggestions be implemented, it would make the World Cup competition be devalued.

Wenger has however, addressed that concern, saying:
“The World Cup’s such a huge event that I don’t think it will diminish the prestige. You want to be the best in the world, and you want to be the best in the world every year.

“I’m not on an ego trip. I’ve been asked to help to shape the calendar of tomorrow, I consult the whole world.” he concluded.

All football governing bodies have been invited by FIFA online for a summit to discuss biennial World Cup plans and the international calendar on September 30.

One of the major issues to be discussed is the possibility of having FIFA’s World Cup every two years, which would mean a major finals every year.