Arsene Wenger, the former Arsenal manager turned FIFA Chief of Global Football Development, has opened up about his desire to bring shake-ups to the international football scene. The Frenchman, who is in charge of the growth of both the men and women's game across the globe, argues that changes must be brought in order for the beautiful game to reach newer heights.
The 70-year-old stated that one alteration that would do wonders for the sport would be to change the popular international competitions such as the FIFA World Cup and the Euros. Currently, the two aforementioned tournament are quadrennial events but the French believes that they should be held every other year.
The biggest argument against this school of thought has been that staging the FIFA World Cup, in particular, more often would detract from its prestige and value. The three-time Premier League winner, however, disagrees, pointing to the UEFA Champions League as an example that higher frequency and reputation aren’t mutually exclusive when it comes to major tournaments.
"One World Cup and one European Championship every other year would probably be more appropriate for a modern world," Wenger told Bild (as per Marca).
"I always tell people who say that the image is not linked to the time you wait before playing again, but rather the quality of the competition. After all, people also watch the Champions League every year. Personally, I think it would be a great step forward." he added.
The FIFA executive also offer his thoughts on the UEFA Nations League, a fairly young tournament that was introduced in order to replace unpopular and unimportant international friendlies with competitive matches. To some extent, the competition has accomplished its goal, with Portugal winning the inaugural title after Cristiano and Co. beat Van Dijk’s side in the final.
Regardless, Wenger is not a fan, stating that it has done little for the international football scene. In fact, he is in favor of scrapping the UEFA Nations League altogether, arguing that the tournament is also too complicated for your average fan.
"We need to get rid of the Nations League and find clearer events that everyone understands," the former manager added.
"If you ask people in the street what the Nations League is, you won't find many able to explain it. We need to have as few events as possible."
It should be stressed that this is not an official strategy implemented or set to be implemented by FIFA, rather it is Wenger’s opinion. Regardless, given his role at world football’s governing body, it will be interesting to see whether he could influence the future of football to his liking.