KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Five months after launching its feasibility study into a calendar reform incluing a biennial World Cup, national team managers and coaches are being asked their opinion.
World federation FIFA, which was mandated by congress in May to investigate the issues, is staging online videoconferences tomorrow [Tuesday] an Thursday to which all the world’s national team bosses are invited.
Development director Arsene Wenger will lead the conferences which “will include a range of talking points, including player health, international windows, the frequency of FIFA World Cup finals and other important issues in the game.”
Didier Deschamps, coach of World Cup and UEFA Nations League winners France, is one coach who has expressed his opposition to the idea of a World Cup every two years.
Over the weekend the International Olympic Committee also joined the opposition.
An increasing challenge for Wenger, FIFA and its president, Gianni Infantino, is that the essential target of a streamlined international match calendar is being buried under the controversy over the World Cup scheduling.
Wenger, addressing the conferences, said: “As a coach of the men`s national teams, their input is essential.
“Opportunities for us to come together are few and far between, but we must embrace these occasions as such dialogue helps us all to protect the unique place that football has in the world and to make it truly global.”
A FIFA statement said: “Consultations with all stakeholders are continuing and FIFA reminds fans from around the world they can send their ideas and feedback on the new football calendar here.”