Arsene Wenger has had a bit of a rant at Fifa, and warned football’s governing body that clubs could rebel if something doesn’t change soon.
Fifa has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons recently, with a number of scandals rocking the organisation. Sepp Blatter was at the centre of a number of them, while a host of Fifa officials have been arrested on charges of corruption (via The Guardian).
A major reform is needed, and Arsene Wenger believes certain aspects of Fifa need to change. He highlighted the hectic schedule in particular, suggesting that the friction caused between club and national managers would only grow.
He suggested that the world’s biggest clubs would eventually revolt, breaking off on their own. With so much money paid for the biggest stars in football, it’s a disgrace that they are so often run into the ground by not getting any real break. It undoubtedly plays a part in the numerous injuries we see in the game today, and Wenger is right when he says something has to give.
“It is now or never – you would like to put it all on the table,” Wenger said, as reported by Arsenal Player.
“You see the European Championship has gone from 16 to 24 teams. I bet you [because of] the way the system was organised, to be elected as new president of Fifa, the programme would be to move the World Cup from 32 to 40 teams.
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“Why? Because Africa today has five countries in the World Cup and Europe has 13 – that cannot work for much longer.
“You cannot take countries away from Europe and if you want to be elected as Fifa president, you need the votes from the African countries, so you want to give more to Africa. So the next World Cups will be 40 teams.
“We face a situation where it’s impossible for the players to get through a season and have rest. This kind of friction that it creates between the clubs, national teams and international competitions can create a split.
“One day the clubs could move away and say, ‘Enough is enough, we pay a huge amount of money for our best players so we’ll get them together ourselves and organise our own competitions’.
“It’s important that all of that gets on the table while we have the opportunity.”
Money talks nowadays, but it can’t be the overriding factor in decisions made where football is concerned. We can’t allow Fifa to award the World Cup to the highest bidder if they aren’t suitable candidates, with no regard whatsoever to the players and their clubs.
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Cramming competitions in and disrupting entire seasons is just ludicrous, and Fifa are the ones responsible. Wenger’s words are unlikely to have a huge impact, but fans, players, and managers around the world need to band together to get things changed.