Arsene Wenger earned legendary status as coach of Arsenal and is now many years removed from that role.
Since then, Wenger has become the Head of Global Football Development at FIFA. Wenger has not been afraid to speak out and defend the sport he loves from any negative change, such as the Super League.
Wenger recently came out with a new proposal for the FIFA World Cup. His proposal is centered around a complete revamp which would see FIFA staging a World Cup every two years. This of course would require a massive overhaul of the international calendar. Most people are afraid of change, and a change of this size would be hard to earn the public’s opinion. Not to mention, this would mean that many records and the history of the tournament will be overwritten.
NEWS | Arsene Wenger has backed plans to stage a FIFA World Cup every two years, believing "it's what the fans want."— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) July 5, 2021
Do want a biennial World Cup?
There would surely be new names in the tournament’s record history with players being able to potentially play in double the amount of World Cups than players in previous generations. Not only this, it takes away the meaning of winning the tournament when it happens far more often. Earning those stars on your kit should be viewed as the ultimate accomplishment and we do not want to oversaturate this trophy.
Wenger’s additional goals are to make the international periods more favorable for all parties. He advocates for one or two international breaks, instead of the current five. This would result in less travel for the players, and bring more “clarity and continuity” for all parties involved. Ultimately, the goal here is to reduce the risk of injury as we can see how big of a loss Lewandowski’s injury was for Bayern Munich’s season.
“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? This is exactly what happened to Robert Lewandowski, who was injured with the Polish national team against Andorra. That ruined Bayern’s entire Champions League season,” Wenger told kicker.
Wenger also wants to reduce the number of games, by removing a significant amount of qualifying games.
“More big games, more knockout matches, fewer qualifying games. That’s what the fans want,” the former Arsenal manager advocates.
While I agree that the big tournament is special, making the finals take place every two years removes some of that feeling and the qualifiers are important for smaller nations and those journeys can be incredible for those teams. We should take care of nations big and small. Not to mention, what would this mean for other international tournaments?
There is a lot to take away from this new proposal, and it is something that many will have opposing views on. A World Cup every two years is incredibly attractive to broadcasters but would be strongly opposed by leagues and clubs who are concerned with player burnout. One party that we cannot forget from this proposal is the fans. We have to preserve the sport while appealing to global followers.
What do you think of this proposed plan?