Patrick Vieira disagrees with Arsenal icon Arsene Wenger’s elaborate World Cup revamp plan

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Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira disagrees with his former manager Arsene Wenger’s elaborate new plans for a revamped World Cup. The Frenchman, who won the tournament on home soil in 1998 before tasting defeat in the 2006 final, fears the changes could devalue the iconic showpiece, questioning whether there is any need for alterations.

Wenger, who is now the chief of global football development at FIFA, believes the wait between international tournaments is too long.

Instead, the 71-year-old would like to see less qualifiers, fewer friendlies and more tournament football.

As part of the proposal, which would also see the UEFA Nations League scrapped, Wenger would propose longer rest periods for players to help nullify the risk of injury.

“For the players, there will be no more matches, and there will be compulsory rest after the final stages, at least 25 days,” Wenger said.

Speaking earlier this year, Wenger ruled he would like to see both the World Cup and Euros played every two years, kicking “the rest out.”

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“Organise only competitions of meaning,” he told beIN Sports.

“Kick all the parallel competitions out of the game. People must understand what is at stake and only have games with meaning.

“If you look at the teams in the World Cups, usually the average age is 27 or 28. Because the World Cup is every four years there are very few chances to win it again because when they go back to the next World Cup they are 32 or 33.

“That’s why maybe we should organise the World Cup every two years.”

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Now his former Arsenal captain Vieira has questioned whether that would be a good idea, highlighting the time between each tournament only adds to its prestige.

“I think it’s just because we are used to having the World Cup every four years and everything’s new, we may find it difficult to accept it because it’s a new idea,” Vieira said.

“But obviously, having the World Cup every two years will. It’s more important, I would say, then every two years, if you have the World Cup every two years, I think you always have a chance in two years after doing it again.

“So for me, I think that we’ll lose a little bit of its importance to have the World Cup every two years.”


Vieira also flagged that the workload on the players could be unreasonable…

“I think it’s just an idea that he’s putting on the table for people to discuss,” Vieira added.

“I think there’s a panel that is talking about if it’s a good idea or not, the only concern that I have on that is about the number of games that those players will have to play.

“So that will be the only remark that I will have to make, then I think that you know, there’s people around.”

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