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FIFA plans to reshuffle the international calendar to include SIX games played each October

FIFA is plotting a reshuffle of the international calendar that includes SIX games played each October, as Arsene Wenger says that the reduction of matches will cause a drop in revenue ‘too big’ for the national federations and smaller nations would have ‘fewer opportunities to compete ‘

  • Arsenal icon Arsene Wenger is now FIFA’s head of global football development
  • In his role, he tries to change the current landscape of international football.
  • However, his radical proposals have also met with resistance from many.


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FIFA is considering reshaping its international calendar proposals after national associations raised concerns about the financial impact of reducing the number of international qualifying matches.

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, now FIFA’s head of world football development, is leading a consultation on the future of the international match calendar in men’s football, which includes the controversial proposal to hold biennial World Cups.

Initially, FIFA had proposed reducing the number of international windows from five to just two, one in October and one in June, and with no country playing more than seven ties, including play-off matches.

Arsene Wenger (center) spearheads plans to change the structure of the FIFA international calendar

Arsene Wenger (center) spearheads plans to change the structure of the FIFA international calendar

However, Wenger revealed that during the consultation process the national federations had raised concerns about the financial impact that reducing international and qualifying breaks would have, and have demanded that there be space for up to 10 national team matches in any season, excluding the final tournament matches. .

Wenger told an audience of clubs, leagues and federations around the world at the Professional Football Virtual Conference: “ The feedback we receive is that a single October window (for qualifying) is considered too extreme and that two points of contact, the end of the season and October are not enough.

‘(There has been) demand from the federations to keep the original number of games because they sell the qualifiers and they think the revenue drop will be too great for them.

‘The smaller nations also said that if the number of qualifiers is reduced and we don’t qualify for the big tournaments, we have less opportunity to compete like with the current format.

Everyone says the status quo is not accepted. We want a change. So what can we do?

“Looking at the federations that are demanding more qualifiers than we initially proposed, we could add option three. That means that in the initial proposal, for example, in option two you had four games in October and three games in March. We could play six games in October and two games in March and two games in preparation for the final tournament in June. “

The Frenchman's proposals could see all international teams play six times each October

The Frenchman's proposals could see all international teams play six times each October

The Frenchman’s proposals could see all international teams play six times each October

There has been strong opposition to Wenger’s proposals within Europe. UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin suggested that European countries could boycott the biennial World Cups and the confederation is already planning a European Championship in 2028, when FIFA proposes that the first World Cup be held in the new biennial cycle. .

Earlier this month, the Premier League voiced opposition to the calendar proposals, raising concerns about the impact on the fan experience and the quality of the competitions.

It is understood that you are concerned that longer windows will be more detrimental to the top flight than the current calendar. A six-game international hiatus in October would effectively require top-notch football to pause for a month each season.

Wenger says coaches at the club and national team level would benefit from changing this ‘stop, go’ approach, while maintaining the balance between club football and the national team at 80-20.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said last month that he hoped to present a ‘consensus’ on the schedule to his organization’s members at a global summit on December 20.

The 20 Premier League clubs have unanimously opposed possible international proposals

The 20 Premier League clubs have unanimously opposed possible international proposals

The 20 Premier League clubs have unanimously opposed possible international proposals

Premier League CEO Richard Masters says all 'radical plans' will be challenged

Premier League CEO Richard Masters says all 'radical plans' will be challenged

Premier League CEO Richard Masters says all ‘radical plans’ will be challenged

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