LONDON (AFP) – Arsene Wenger has criticised the “emotional” response to his controversial proposal to hold the World Cup every two years.
Former Arsenal manager Wenger, now working as Fifa’s head of global development, caused dismay in many quarters by suggesting the World Cup should be played more often.
The tournament is currently held every four years, with the next edition set for Qatar in 2022.
Wenger’s idea to stage the World Cup once every two years led to widespread criticism from managers, while Uefa issued a scathing response.
“There are real dangers associated with this plan. The dilution of the value of the No. 1 world football event, whose quadrennial occurrence gives it a mystique that generations of fans have grown up with,” European football’s governing body said.
Uefa urged Fifa to stop “promotional campaigns” for the scheme before they have consulted the relevant stakeholders.
But Wenger believes those who study his suggestion properly begin to see the merit in it.
“I’m confident, but I do not know the forces who are for or against. I just make that proposal because I think it’s good for the game,” Wenger told the BBC’s Sports Desk podcast.
“After the proposal for the World Cup every two years sometimes (there is an) emotional response.
“I’m not surprised. Many people who were completely against it changed their mind after having seen my proposal.
“Some people have judged only based on every two years of World Cup and it was more emotional because ‘we’ve all grown up in that cycle’, and I can understand that.
“But many responses who were negative came out because they had not completely seen the whole concept.
“This concept of course, every two years a World Cup makes only sense if you see the whole proposal and if you regroup the qualifiers.”