Photo Credit: FIFA Media
The FIFA World Cup is the most coveted trophy in all of football. The title has eluded some of the very greats of the game like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. However please could get more chances at the trophy because of an interesting discussion happening in the football world right now.
Former Arsenal manager and current FIFA chief of football development Arsene Wenger has proposed plans to conduct a World Cup every 2 years, with continental tournaments like the European championship and the Copa America happening every odd year, and one or two international breaks a year as opposed to frequent breaks in between club football. This proposal by the Frenchman has the potential to change the landscape of world football drastically, and has thus become a heated topic for debate in the world of football.
Wenger's Plan And Potential Benefits
According to Wenger's plan, there will be a World Cup every 2 years, followed by a continental tournament every odd year, and international breaks being reduced to one or two months in a calendar year. He argues that this will give guaranteed rest time to the players.
Another potential benefit that Wenger describes in his plan is that countries that have never qualified for the World Cup will get a chance to qualify, given that the tournament will happen every two years and the money can be reinvested into smaller nations with smaller player development programs.
However, even though the world cup is a massive money maker, whether this idea will actually bear fruit given FIFA's corrupt and tainted history is something that needs to be thought of by everyone involved.
People In Support
No other topic in recent history has had such a polarizing effect on the footballing fraternity. Those in favour of wenger's plan include smaller footballing nations as well as former players like Tim Cahill, who argue that this is a more holistic reform and is the need of the hour in terms of the opportunities given to players.
Advocates of this proposal also argue that the honour and privilege of the World Cup will definitely not be diminished, given that coveted tournaments like the UEFA Champions League and the Copa Libertadores happen every year and are still held in high regard by the fans.
Regardless of where you stand on the issue, you can see the appeal that Wenger brings to the table with this proposal, and many small nations will make a case in favour of this idea, since it benefits them the most.
Opposition To The Plan
The league bodies of some of the most prolific football nations in the world have publicly shown disdain towards Wenger's plan, with European leagues being the most vocal of them all.
The president of La Liga argues that this would have a terrible impact on league football and the entire calendar would be disrupted. He also suggested that fans would lose interest in the sport if this plan goes through.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin also said in an interview that European nations along with conmebol will be boycotting the entire plan if it becomes reality.
Fans from all around the world have condemned Wenger and his plan, and have accused FIFA of ruining the sport because of their greed and hunger for more money.
Many also argue that this plan does not take the health and safety of the players involved, because in the end they are the ones who will be on the field, not the executives who plan these fixtures.
The final call regarding the world cup and it's timeline will be taken at a FIFA Congress, which will not take place until May 2022. What happens to world football in the future with this proposal on the table is yet to be seen.