Arsene Wenger has called for a radical overhaul of the entire football calendar with domestic seasons played from March to November and the World Cup to be held every two years.
Wenger has continually pushed for a series of reforms ever since taking up a role as FIFA’s chief of global football development in November 2019 following almost 22 years managing Arsenal.
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The 71-year-old’s proposals for altering the offside law are under consideration and he is urging the game’s governing body to turn their attention to bringing in uniform scheduling.
“It’s my dream you know, it’s not a dream I share with many people at the moment but I just think I have the advantage of having worked in Japan,” Wenger, who managed Nagoya Grampus Eight in the mid 1990s, told beIN SPORTS.
“We played from March until November and it was perfect. You would not have anymore ‘he won the Championship in season 2018-19.’ No, the championship was won in 2018 or 2019 and in 2020.
“In fact, I believe as well, we have to re-organise completely the calendar. In FIFA, with [president Gianni] Infantino, we try to make meeting with all the stakeholders of the game to completely reorganise the calendar year, because you have to plan in the future where you may have to travel less.”
The delayed European Championship finals take place this summer before the 2022 World Cup begins in Qatar, moved to November and December due to the region’s climate. Wenger believes this shift offered a prime chance to make the radical changes but a longer-term vision is now required, one which he claims should include halving the four-year tournament cycle.
Arsene Wenger has proposed radical changes to the football calendar. Getty
“It was a good opportunity [to remodel the football season] with the World Cup in November… but it’s not the case so that will not happen,” Wenger said. “We have a worldwide consultation starting in March.
“I’m convinced that to harmonise the world calendar somebody has to give in and it’s Europe or the res t of the world. It would make things more simple. And let’s not forget that this summer break comes from the way people were not professional, it’s over 100 years ago. Today the players don’t go on holiday over the season.
“The second problem that we have, if you look at world football, there’s a gulf between Europe and the rest of the world and to get more national teams going to the World Cup will help to develop football in the smaller countries because they have more opportunities to go and play at the world level.
“Maybe the Club World Cup can help as well to generate more money to organise the championships, but then again you have to be careful that it’s not going to the big clubs and that part of the money that it could generate goes as well to the structure and improvement inside the smaller countries.
“If you look at the teams in the World Cup, usually the average age is 27-28. That’s why, because the World Cup, is every four years there are very few chances to win it again because when they go back to the next World Cup they are 32 or 33.
“That’s why maybe we should organise the World Cup every two years and the European Championship every two years and kick all the rest out.
“Organise only competitions of meaning and kick all the parallel competitions out of the game. People must understand what is at stake and only have games with meaning.”