FILE - England manager Gareth Southgate during a training session. Photo: Carl Recine/Reuters
FILE - England manager Gareth Southgate during a training session. Photo: Carl Recine/Reuters

Gareth Southgate 'open-minded' about World Cup every two years

By AFP Time of article published Sep 7, 2021

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LONDON – England boss Gareth Southgate says he is "open-minded" about holding the World Cup every two years and has spoken to Arsene Wenger about the proposal.

Former Arsenal manager Wenger, who is now director of development at world governing body FIFA, has called for football's showpiece competition to become a biennial event.

Southgate revealed after England's 4-0 World Cup qualifying win over Andorra on Sunday that he had spoken to the Frenchman about the proposals and that he is open to the possibility -- as long as the football calendar does not become overloaded.

"I think the whole calendar needs reviewing," he said. "My feedback would be -- I don't know how our generation are going to find a World Cup every two years a strange concept.

"But I also know that things like The Hundred in cricket have been an incredible success, so I'm open-minded about some of those things. But the calendar generally needs to be tidied up. We can't keep adding more things in.

"I agree generally with the concept of better-quality matches -- fewer matches, better quality across the board, but there's lots of other things that need consideration and we can't just add more in at the moment."

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin warned on Monday that holding the World Cup every two years would "dilute" the tournament.

The tournament has been held every four years, apart from cancellations as a result of World War II, since the inaugural edition in 1930.

"We think that the jewel of the World Cup has value precisely because of its rarity," Ceferin said at a general assembly of the European Club Association.

"But holding it every two years, will by our opinion, lead to more randomisation, less legitimacy, and it will unfortunately dilute the World Cup itself."

AFP

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