The head of the global department of FIFA, Arsene Wenger, is sure that if the calendar has fewer international breaks and frequent World Cups, it will actually help the players and will tackle all the chaos that comes with organising a mega-event like the World Cup. The Former manager of Arsenal says that the current calendar lacks clarity. Despite strong opposition from UEFA, Arsene Wenger is confident that this proposal will be approved and he is ready to take the gamble if it means developing the sport.
“The risk is to make football better, and I’m ready to take that gamble. No clarity, no simplicity, no modern way to organise a season. I think if we go on like that we hit the wall.”
UEFA concerned about the smaller teams and the players, but Arsene Wenger has a different take
UEFA has taken a stern stand against the proposal of FIFA. It mentioned that Europe will boycott World Cup entirely if such a proposal is accepted without consulting UEFA first.
UEFA has raised several concerns over the said proposal. It mentioned that frequent World Cups will actually dilute the value of the event, players would not get enough rest, domestic schedules will be interrupted and smaller teams won’t get a chance to compete.
But Arsene Wenger has a different take on it.
“The World Cup is 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. What is absolutely detrimental to the players is repeated travelling and jet-lag. With reducing the qualifying period, I believe that the clubs will benefit, the players would benefit.” [H/T BBC]
UEFA has accused FIFA of taking the decision without bothering to consult other football organisations. FIFA has not reverted to their request for a special meeting. Some have even accused Arsene of going on an ego trip.
FIFA has taken a survey to understand what the fans want from the teams. In the survey, a majority of the fans have expressed that they would like World Cup to become a biennial event.