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Gareth Southgate Says He's Open Minded To World Cup Every Two Years

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Gareth Southgate Says He's Open Minded To World Cup Every Two Years

Gareth Southgate has said he's 'open minded' to Arsene Wenger's plans to hold the World Cup every two years, and has compared the idea to The Hundred in cricket.

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Former Arsenal boss has bemused most fans with his plans, as FIFA's Chief of Global Football Development, to change the football calendar.

Under the Frenchman's proposal, the World Cup would take place every two years, with the Euros and Copa America doing the same and meaning there would be international tournaments every summer.

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Wenger now has to sell it to international managers ahead of FIFA trying to make it happen at any point, with a potential future vote.

England boss Southgate has admitted that he does think the football calendar might need a shake up, and compared the idea to cricket's latest format.

"My feedback would be I don’t know if our generation are going to find a World Cup every two years a strange concept," the Euro 2020 finalist said.

"But I also know that things like The Hundred in cricket have been an incredible success so I’m open-minded about some of those things.

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"But the calendar generally needs to be tidied up. We can’t keep adding more things in. I agree generally with the concept of better quality matches. Fewer matches, better quality, across the board.

"But there’s lots of other things that need consideration and we can’t just add more in at the moment."

Southgate is getting closer to qualifying for next winter's World Cup. Image: PA Images
Southgate is getting closer to qualifying for next winter's World Cup. Image: PA Images

FIFA has been on a collision course with UEFA for some time and also want to increase the number of teams who qualify for the World Cup.

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The world governing body also tried to increase the number of teams in the World Club Cup and have it run at the end of the season, but it was delayed after Covid-19 pushed the Euros back a year.

A tournament every summer would certainly make them less special but Southgate believes it would mean players are less likely to miss out on them for injuries.

"As a traditionalist it feels you could lose some of the allure of the World Cup because the scarcity of it makes it more important," the Three Lions boss added.

"But I also get it that if you are a player who has an injury for the World Cup, you might only get one opportunity every eight years, and that is really tough. I am not certain on that side of it.

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"I think they should be represented by players’ unions. You cannot go into individual players, that would take forever. The players’ unions could gather the thoughts of the players and I just think everybody has to work together on the calendar.

Would Wenger have wanted World Cups every two years whilst still Arsenal boss? Image: PA Images
Would Wenger have wanted World Cups every two years whilst still Arsenal boss? Image: PA Images

"We talked about this after Covid and you can’t keep adding. We have had some fixtures that have been so difficult, if you think back to last September when the players had not played a league game, then we were expected to play at a high level in international fixtures.

"We can’t keep adding in those things. But none of us in the game are holding our hands out for less money, so we also have to accept that comes with a consequence.

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"There is a balance to all this but across the board governing bodies have to work for a calendar that works for the leagues and confederations and for FIFA. It has to be coordinated. If we are looking that far ahead, there is no reason it can’t be."

Would you want World Cups every two years?

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Football, Gareth Southgate, England, Football World Cup, Arsene Wenger

Ryan Sidle
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