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Arsene Wenger claims World Cup teams who avoided 'political demonstrations' performed better than those who did not

Adnan Riaz

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| Last updated 

Arsene Wenger claims World Cup teams who avoided 'political demonstrations' performed better than those who did not

Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger has insisted that the teams who avoided ‘political demonstrations’ at the World Cup have performed better than those who did not.

Qatar, which won the World Cup bid in 2010, have been ruthlessly criticised over their abhorrent human rights record and strict homosexuality laws in the country.

The World Cup hosts have also been met with condemnation over the deaths of more than 6,500 migrant workers on World Cup-related projects.

England, including six other teams at the World Cup, planned for Three Lions captain Harry Kane to wear a ‘OneLove’ armband in Qatar in support of LGBT+ rights.

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However, the English FA made a stunning U-turn on the aforementioned plan after FIFA threatened that referees could book players who wore the OneLove armband.

Germany players showed their opposition at FIFA’s position on the OneLove armband by covering their mouths in the team photo ahead of the Japan match.

However, the 2014 World Cup champions were brutally mocked on a Qatar TV show for their mouth-covering team photo after Germany crashed out of the tournament.

Wenger, who is currently chief of global football development at FIFA, has claimed the teams who were “mentally ready” did better than those who focused on political demonstrations at the World Cup.

Speaking at the World Cup Technical Study Group briefing, he said: “The teams who were not disappointing with their first game performance… when you go to a World Cup you have to not lose the first game, are the teams with experience and with results in former tournaments, like France and England and Brazil.

“They played well in the first game. The teams as well who were mentally ready, with the mindset to focus on the competition, and not on political demonstrations.”

Wenger believes that France are in a strong position of retaining the World Cup and the 2018 champions are “dangerous right until the very end.”

However, the 73-year-old Frenchman also praised the “very intelligent” Gareth Southgate and believes England are a “team now at their peak to develop.”

“The teams with the best benches have best chance of winning, France is one of them, Wenger said.

“They were young when won the World Cup and can defend it.

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“France went through tough times last year and came here with an appetite for winning. France will be dangerous right until the very end.”

He added: “The big teams have turned up. England one of them, outstanding in the first game, they struggled in the second and then came back when needed to be very convincing against Wales.

“England has learned a lot in competition and, contrary to Belgium who were past the peak, England look to be a team now at their peak to develop. They have learned and still have a young team.

“Gareth Southgate is a very intelligent man, capable to analyse well the games and performances.

“He’s like the team, has learned from the World Cup and learned from European Championships and is now in good situation to deliver.”

Featured Image Credit: Football Daily's Twitter/Alamy

Topics: Arsene Wenger, Football World Cup, Football

Adnan Riaz
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