Paris (AFP) – Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has called for the World Cup to be held every two years in an interview with French sports daily L’Equipe published on Friday.
The 71-year-old Frenchman, who is now director of development at FIFA, also called for a single annual period of international qualifiers in a global football calendar.
“The principle would be a grouping of qualifiers every year, and at the end of the season a major competition, World Cup or continental championship,” said Wenger.
“Between the two qualifying windows, the player would stay in his club all year round.
“There must be less of a mix in the calendar between the periods of club football and periods of international football, and therefore fewer transcontinental trips for the players, for example.”
Wenger said he would like to see a single international window, perhaps in October, with fewer qualifying matches.
“For the players, there will be no more matches, and there will be compulsory rest after the final stages, at least 25 days,” said Wenger who sees his proposed new format coming into action in 2028, two years after the 2026 World Cup in North America and Mexico.
“What people want today are high-stakes, easy-to-understand competitions,” he said, insisting there is “no financial intention behind it”.
“It’s a global project, for men’s football, but also for women’s football and youth competitions,” he added.