Wenger wary of World Cup wankery


Arsene Wenger says he’s dubious that proposals aired this week for a 48 team World Cup are designed for the good of the game.

FIFA have suggested that the 2026 tournament could be made of up sixteen groups of three teams, in what seems like one of their classic ‘How can we make more money?’ decisions.

Asked about it on Thursday, the Arsenal manager seemed sceptical that the idea would benefit football in any way.

“Is that guided for popular reasons?,” he asked. “Or is that guided to improve the level of football?

“I’m a bit sceptical, but if somebody can convince me that it will make football better and that we can live with the time it will take to complete the World Cup, I am ready to listen.

“At the moment, I am not convinced. We have moved to 24 teams in Europe, that’s basically 50 per cent of the teams we have in Europe.

“I can’t see that being a huge improvement on the quality of the game. But 48 teams, we have about 300 teams in the world, the percentage looks that it could be accepted.”

And Wenger was keen to see qualifying in Europe updated.

“The qualifying in Europe has to be changed already,” he said. “You look at the percentage of wins of the big countries in the qualifiers.

“They go to the big tournaments with 90 per cent wins and then the competition starts.

“The qualifiers are outdated, the way the competitions are organised now and we have to rethink the process because of the number of games the players play that have really no meaning.”

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