Arsene Wenger outlines motivation behind much-criticised World Cup plans

Arsene Wenger has outlined his motivation behind his much-criticised World Cup plans.

The ex- Arsenal manager wants the tournament held every two years rather than its usual gap of four.

His proposal, as FIFA ‘s Chief of Global Football Development, has been met with widespread criticism, although Wenger is standing firm.

In May, the world’s football governing body began exploring turning the men’s World Cup into a biannual competition after the Saudi Arabian football federation formally proposed the idea.

FIFA argue that an altered World Cup calendar would benefit a wider range of countries than at present, something Wenger elaborated on in a recent interview.

“It is only my proposal!” the 22-year Gunners boss The Telegraph. “I don’t make that decision. It’s for the whole football world to decide.”

Wenger wants the whole world to benefit by his plans, explaining: “Look I grew up in a village [in Alsace, eastern France] where I had no coach until the age of 19. I have managed many people who came out of Africa and had very few opportunities.

“Personally I would say that every talent deserves a chance in life and today that is not the case. If you were born with the same talent but you were born in Yaounde, London or Hanoi you have not the same chance to become a great football player.”

“You can say that about life in general but if you are responsible to give everybody the same chance then you have to worry about it,” he added. “You don’t have to accept it.”

During the September international break, England manager Gareth Southgate was asked about FIFA’s idea and labelled it a “strange concept” for his generation.

“I actually met with Arsene a couple of weeks ago, he was meeting a few different coaches so I have a pretty good idea of the proposals,” Southgate revealed.

© The FA via Getty Images Southgate has admitted he met with Wenger to discuss the plans

Do you think a biannual World Cup is a good idea? Give us your verdict here.

“I think the whole calendar needs reviewing. My feedback would be – I don’t know – that our generation are going to find a World Cup every two years a strange concept.”

He added: “There’s too many different strands, so there’s bits I thought could work, bits I think need more consideration, and bits that probably wouldn’t work. I’m not certain. I’m not massively pro or negative to the concept, I think it needs a lot more thought.

“I also get it that if you are a player who has an injury for the World Cup, you might only get one opportunity every eight years, and that is really tough. I’m not certain on that side of it.”

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has expressed “grave concerns” about the proposals, later telling the European Club Association’s General Assembly in Geneva: “We think that the jewel of the World Cup has value precisely because of its rarity.

“Holding it every two years will lead to less legitimacy and dilute the World Cup itself. We think there is a space for everything and both national teams and clubs are fully occupying that physical and commercial space.”

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