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Football news – Arsene Wenger supports plan for a World Cup every two years, wants one international break


Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, has backed plans for a World Cup to be staged every two years as part of a wider plan to revamp the international calendar.

FIFA is currently carrying out a feasibility study into making the men’s and women’s World Cup a biennial event rather than the current arrangement of every four years.

Wenger backs the idea and would also favour a month-long international break in October to condense the entirety of qualifying, turning it into a 28-day affair with seven qualifiers instead of 10, rather than having it spread over 50 days throughout a calendar year.

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Speaking to German publication Kicker, the former Arsenal boss said: “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.

“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.

“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.

“The competitions will all remain in place until 2024, and changes can only be made after that.

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More knockout matches, fewer qualifying games. That’s what the fans want.

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