Charged by the international body to reflect on the contours of the future football calendar, the former Arsenal coach has revealed his proposals.
Lhe world football calendar has been at the center of attention for several months, and particularly in Europe where many players and coaches have stressed how trying this past year has been for organizations. However, things could change in the near future.
Arsène Wenger, as director of football development within Fifa, has the task of reflecting on this subject and he gave his first leads to the German daily Kicker. The priority is to reduce the number of matches. “It’s very important, because we can see what condition the players are in,” said the former Arsenal coach. In particular, this will have to go through fewer international meetings and therefore shortened national gatherings. “I am arguing for a single international window, or a maximum of two, instead of five like today. That the selections meet in October, play seven qualifying games over a month, then the tournament in June. That would mean less travel for the players and more clarity, continuity for everyone involved, with less risk of injury too. “
More matches at stake, fewer qualifying matches
This reflection is based on a concrete example: that of Robert Lewandowski. “I always felt that having many (international) but shorter periods was more unfavorable for the players,” Wenger continues. “These are always phases of uncertainty. Just see last season. Robert Lewandowski was injured in the selection during the most important period for the club and missed Bayern’s Champions League quarter-final against PSG. In addition, supporters much prefer to watch matches where the stakes are high. “
More big matches, more knockout matches, less qualifying matches: that’s how Wenger’s thinking can be summed up. No change should take place before 2024 according to the former coach, the schedule for the next competitions has already been established. Nonetheless, he sketched out what the sequel could look like: “The 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada; one Euro and the other continental competitions in 2027; another World Cup in 2028 and so on, ”revealed Wenger.