World Cup: FIFA to consult national team managers over biennial tournament proposals

FIFA has set up online video conferences to give every international team coach the opportunity to hear about its post-2024 calendar proposals, which include Arsene Wenger's plan for biennial World Cups

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Arsene Wenger backs the reasoning behind proposals for a biennial World Cup, and says players want to play big games more regularly

National team coaches will have the chance to discuss FIFA's plans for the future of men's international football this week.

World football's governing body has set up online video conferences on Tuesday and Thursday to enable every international team coach the opportunity to hear about its post-2024 calendar proposals, which include biennial World Cups.

The discussions will be led by former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, now FIFA's chief of global football development, who has helped to shape the men's calendar proposals.

England manager Gareth Southgate, who spoke with Wenger about the proposals in September, will not attend the meetings as Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham will take the lead on dealing with the proposal.

"As a coach of the men's national teams, their input is essential," Wenger said.

"Opportunities for us to come together are few and far between, but we must embrace these occasions as such dialogue helps us all to protect the unique place that football has in the world and to make it truly global."

The proposed changes include holding a men's tournament every June, mandatory 25-day rest periods for players after their involvement in tournaments, and cutting the number of qualifying matches and the number of international breaks during a season.

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Closing the gap between World Cups from four years to two has proved the most controversial aspect of the plans.

A FIFA Council meeting on Wednesday is expected to provide an update on how the consultation process for the new calendar and biennial World Cups is progressing along with more information on the next steps.

The decision about any new calendar and biennial World Cups will be made by a vote of 211 member national associations, with a vote on the proposals anticipated in December.

Wenger and Infantino's proposal is understood to have enough backing to win a vote.

The International Olympic Committee said on Saturday it shared concerns raised by other bodies, including European football confederation UEFA, over the plans.

The IOC called for a "wider consultation, including with athletes' representatives, which has obviously not taken place".

UEFA doubled down on its opposition to the plans on Friday, saying it would stand against them "until common sense prevails and they are dropped".

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