Speaking in quotes picked up by L’Équipe, FIFA’s Head of Football Development Arsène Wenger insisted that his idea to hold a World Cup every 2 years is gaining traction.
On his response to critics:
The reform that I am proposing relates to the international calendar, which is fixed until 2024. The World Cup every two years is a part of the reform that I am proposing and I am consulting the world all over. What I am proposing, is to reduce the number of qualification matches, to regroup and make space for an international competition at the end of the season. This would allow for real separation between club and international football. For example, we are in the international break and there are South Americans can’t play for PSG this weekend. I find that illogical.
On how he prepared this reform plan:
I consulted everyone and I asked them two questions. 1. Do you want things to continue as they are? 100% said no. 2. Do you have ideas to reorganise the international calendar? I am open to all ideas. Between 80% to 90% of people like the idea of reorganising qualification rounds, to shorten them, and to make space for an international competition. A World Cup every two years, there was more reticence towards it because there is something emotional in it. We are all in this routine and cycle of a World Cup every 4 years which seems natural. But when you look at history, it is not that natural. I am open to all suggestions and all criticisms. They are welcome for me. This is not a personal fight for me. The only thing that I ask is that those who are criticising the project, that they give me something better. But don’t try to denigrate my credibility. I would prefer that people criticise the project and tell me why.
Didier Deschamps says that he feels that a move to a World Cup every 2 years would take away some of its prestige.
I understand that thought process and it is human. It is normal to want to protect its prestige. But by analysing the perception of time in our modern society where everything is becoming quicker and quicker, the demand for major events is also greater and I want to keep this idea of clarity and simplicity in the world of football, that people understand which competition is being played. Football needs to remain a sport that is simple to understand.