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19th Oct 2021

Gareth Southgate to discuss biennial World Cup plans with FIFA

Callum Boyle

Southgate is set to speak alongside several other national team manager’s this week

England boss Gareth Southgate is set to discuss plans for the future of the international men’s game – including a biennial World Cup – with FIFA this week.

Southgate will be joined by several other national team coaches in a host of online video conferences which have been organised by FIFA to allow coaches to hear firsthand about potential changes to the footballing calendar after 2024.

Arsene Wenger, who is now FIFA’s chief of football development, has been a key figure in the planning of the proposals and will lead the conferences throughout the week.

Speaking about the event on Sky Sports, Wenger said: “As a coach of the men’s national teams, their input is essential.

“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.”

Some of the proposals include hosting a major international tournament every year whilst all players involved in those tournaments must have a mandatory 25-day rest period to allow them to recover properly.

It will also see the number of qualifying games reduced along with the number of international breaks every year. Despite such promises, the plans have proved controversial, with the need to double the number of World Cups drawing plenty of criticism.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino spoke recently about the idea, highlighting that it gave smaller nations a chance of reaching a major tournament finals.

He said: “Our job as FIFA is to constantly think about how we can improve football in the world, to make football truly global. The FIFA president is president of the 111 countries and all those countries have the right to dream.

“They also have to be able to achieve that dream because if you have to dream for eternity, in the end you prefer to do other things.”

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