Arsene Wenger's World Cup plan

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Arsene Wnger, who was formerly a football manager, resigned in 2018 and became Fifa's chief for global football development

Arsene Younger said he believes his plan to create an international match calendar that includes a World Cup every two year is the best for the game.

Major leagues across Europe have already reacted against the proposals. La Liga president Javier Tebas stated that they "threaten the overall tradition of international football".

Former Arsenal boss Wenger spoke to scores of former players in Doha over the past week in his role as chief of football development at Fifa.

He also presented the plan that he believes will bring about the structural changes necessary to reduce travel and matches at the top level while still delivering meaningful games.

He stated, "I am 100% certain it is the right choice."

"In football, if there are no big competitions, you will play smaller competitions. Don't be fooled.

"Because the proposal respects international and club football's current balance of 80/20, I would sign with both my hands if I were in a club."

Wenger's grand plan

Few people in football would argue against significant reforms to the international match calendar.

After 166 member associations approved a feasibility study, which was presented by the Saudi Arabian Federation, Gianni Infantino, president of Fifa, gave Wenger the task of finding the best way for it to be changed.

Former Arsenal boss, he has many ideas.

In even years, a biennial World Cup.

Confederation tournaments, including the European Championship, in odd years.

One (October) or two, respectively, will be mid-season international holidays, which last for a month and allow for qualifying for major tournaments. A play-off for seven matches is possible between groups of four countries.

After tournaments are finished, players have guaranteed rest periods.

Wenger claims that this would decrease the number of travel players by half.

He said, "Today's calendar was outdated." We want it to be more efficient.

"The current four year cycle was established in 1930. Yet, 133 countries have never participated in the World Cup."

Wenger spoke to Ronaldo, a former Brazil star.

The positive spin-offs

Wenger talked about his baby, which is to "give all talents a chance."

He believes that young players are not given equal opportunities to reach their full potential due to where they were born. Simply put, the countries with the most youth programs are the wealthiest.

Wenger claims that a World Cup every 2 years would produce more money than could be invested worldwide.

He stated that he wanted to create an incentive for youth programs to be funded. "We are aware that youth work has a strong correlation with senior levels."

The opposition

The World and European Leagues bodies oppose the proposed calendar changes, while La Liga chief Tebas claims that the proposed changes to the calendar "would disrupt the domestic Leagues to the extent which interest would be lost or continuity jeopardised".

He said, "This would have an cascading impact on the entire football pyramid with fans losing interest."

The World Cup product has been suggested to be diluted. However, Aleksander Ceferin, an external-link Uefa President, stated that European countries and those affiliated with the South American Conmebol Confederation may not want to participate in the whole thing.

These comments are in contradiction to a statement by Conmebol president Alejandro Dominguez less than three years back, external-link stating that his organization had suggested a biennial World Cup for Fifa.

Support for those in need

Wenger's suggestions could be of benefit to enough countries to allow them to pass.

Evidently, politics are clouding the discussion, pitting competing interests against one another just months after they united to attack the doomed European Super League plan.

Wenger refutes the claim that tournament dilution has occurred by pointing to the effect of Covid-19, which means that the major international competitions in Europe and South America this year will be followed by the next World Cup.

Ronaldo, a legendary Brazilian striker, observes that the Champions League is still very attractive despite it being an annual competition.

Fifa, the former Australia and Everton player, admitted that he is a strong supporter of Aspire Academy in Qatar. He is also chief sports officer.

He is however adamant that Wenger's plans will benefit all players after speaking with former professionals in Doha.

He said, "Listening and understanding each other's stories helped a lot of people to think holistically instead of individually."

"I spoke with Ali Al-Habsi (former Wigan and Reading goalkeeper), who spent 19 years trying for a World Cup [with Oman] but never got there - 133 countries have never done so.

"I have seen firsthand how difficult it is to travel when playing in the Premier League and international football.

The qualifiers are next. It takes Australia three years for the qualification to the World Cup. In Europe, it takes just one year.

When will the decision be made

Wenger expects that the consultation process will be completed by the end of this year. A Fifa Congress will make the final decision about the proposal. This usually happens in May.

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