Raymond Domenech: Arsene Wenger's idea for biennial World Cup 'STUPID'

Raymond Domenech BLASTS Arsene Wenger’s idea for a biennial World Cup as ‘STUPID’ and an ‘aberration’ – as UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin reveals ‘grave concerns’ at FIFA’s plans

  • Domenech criticised former Arsenal manager Wenger in a vituperative outburst 
  • One of Wenger’s ideas was to include a rest period after summer tournaments  
  • He suggested replacing international breaks with one or two qualifying slots too 

Raymond Domenech has blasted Arsene Wenger’s plans for a biennial World Cup, calling his plan ‘a stupid idea’.

Former Arsenal manager Wenger is now FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development and came up with ideas including introducing a rest period after summer tournaments and replacing international breaks with one or two qualifying slots.

But his compatriot Domenech strongly criticised him, recalling their feud when Domenech was France boss and Wenger preferred to keep French players with the Gunners.

Raymond Domenech has called Arsene Wenger’s plans for a biennial World Cup a ‘stupid idea’; former Arsenal manager Wenger (pictured) is now FIFA’s Head of Global Football Development

Ex-France boss Domenech did not hold back, describing Wenger’s as ideas an ‘aberration’

He said: ‘The idea doesn’t make sense, it’s stupid. The fact it’s brought forward by Mr Wenger makes no sense. When he was manager he always went against the national teams. I had a number of disputes with him on players he didn’t want me to call up. 

‘So in October and in March we’re going to stop playing club football? FIFA is advocating for a football for everyone, which remains a football for the elite. Players who are always called up will never actually get any holidays. 

‘It’s a political aberration. As always, it’s FIFA that decides. What’s more, Wenger is only citing former players. For those who aren’t playing, it’s great, for those who are, it’s an aberration.’

Wenger told Kicker in July: ‘More knockout matches, fewer qualifying games — that’s what the fans want,’ also suggesting a month-long international break in October to condense the whole qualifying campaign.

Broadcasters would back the idea for more regular World Cups but there are concerns regarding player burnout in an already jam-packed calendar. For example, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola joked: ‘Maybe we should ask UEFA and FIFA to extend a year. Maybe we could have 400 days a year.’

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin echoed some of Domenech’s concerns about the plans

And UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin echoed some of Domenech’s concerns about how increasing the number of World Cups could damage domestic and regional football. 

In a reply to a letter sent to him by Football Supporters Europe executive director Ronan Evain, he said: ‘UEFA and its national associations also have serious reservations and grave concerns surrounding reports of FIFA’s plans.

‘Considering the major impact this reform may have on…football, there is widespread astonishment FIFA appears to be launching a PR campaign to push its proposal whilst (they) haven’t been presented to confederations, national associations, leagues, clubs, players, coaches, clubs and all the football community.

‘It is imperative to highlight the concerns shared across the footballing world regarding the impact a biennial FIFA World Cup would have on the international match calendar and, prominently in this context, on women’s football.’

Wenger previously criticised the African Cup of Nations taking place every two years because it negatively impacted his Arsenal side.

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