World Cup: Arsene Wenger ‘convinced’ FIFA can push through controversial plan for competition every two years

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger says he is convinced he can push though his idea of a World Cup every two years world despite mounting resistance, but did concede he would "respect football's decision".

The former Arsenal manager, now FIFA's chief of global football development, has been tasked with overhauling the international match calendar.

The Frenchman is proposing two options, one with a single month-long international break in October and another with just two breaks across the season instead of the current four. Both proposals would mean the World Cup being played every two years from 2026, an idea that has been met with much opposition.

UEFA and the European Leagues group have both raised concerns over the proposals with the latter, which includes the Premier League and EFL, saying they are "firmly and unanimously opposed" to the idea.

A vote is set to be held in December and, asked if he feared that this would cause an ugly war at the top of football, Wenger was unmoved.

"I am not hesitant at all," said Wenger. "I am 100 per cent convinced that what I propose is the right solution for the modern way to organise football.

"If people have better ideas I am open and welcome to it. I will not vote, I am just making a proposal that I think will improve things and make life better for everybody but especially to make football better.

"That is my main target, it is not guided by anything else.

"I am on a trip to convince people that what we are doing is part of that but I will respect football’s decision. I am convinced that we can get everybody to accept that this is the best solution."

Wenger insists the plans are driven by the want to improve football globally and said the proposals would more than halve the amount of travel players outside of Europe must do each season.

The 71-year-old added that the current calendar was "outdated, not practical and inefficient" and warned that if the calendar was changed and a gap left free at the end of the season, smaller competitions would move in as opposed to a biennial World Cup.

"I have been asked how we can make the international match calendar better," Wenger said. "One of the things is to organise it better through the year, the other thing is to organise better competitions.

"Let’s not forget, if we create room and we do not play big competitions you will play small competitions. Do not think that we will not play.

"The target of the players and football to improve all over the world is to play top level competitions."

Wenger was joined on a call to sell the plan by three FIFA “legends”. Peter Schmeichel, Ronaldo and Tim Cahill all supported the idea and the former Manchester United goalkeeper said there had been no dissent towards the plan from any of those invited to Doha, Qatar, by FIFA to discuss the proposals.

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