Wenger on the World Cup proposals

Arsene Wenger was asked about the news that Fifa is considering making the 2026 World Cup a 48-team tournament.

The Arsenal manager remains unconvinced it would improve the quality of football - and this is what he told the media:

on a 48-team World Cup…
Is that guided for popular reasons? 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.

on the knock-on effects for international qualifiers…
The qualifying in Europe has to be changed already. 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 The qualifiers are outdated, the way the competitions are organised now and we have to rethink the process because of the number of games the players play that have really no meaning.


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