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23rd Sep 2021

Tyrone Mings: I’m not in favour of a World Cup every two years

Wayne Farry

“I’m fully aware that players’ bodies certainly come secondary to the finances of football”

Aston Villa and England centre-back Tyrone Mings has stated that he is opposed to the idea of the World Cup taking place every two years.

Speaking to JOE following the launch of his partnership with Alpro, Mings said that he’s “certainly not in favour” of the proposed plans for a biennial World Cup which are being touted by FIFA and its ever-growing group of former professionals.

Mings is one of the first active professionals to speak out against the plans, which are thought to be the brainchild of FIFA’s head of global development, Arsene Wenger.

Given everything that has happened in the world over the past eighteen months, and with so many people and industries simply taking stock from the impact of Covid-19, Mings feels that the time isn’t right for the conversation.

“I’m certainly not in favour it,” he said. “You might find people are a little bit more receptive of it if the schedule wasn’t so congested at the moment.”

Mings noted how, unlike many industries that are still consolidating after the effects of the pandemic, football appears to be going the other way, with little consideration for those playing the game.

“We’re recovering from how tough and demanding the last 18 months have been. Not only on everybody in terms of Covid and lockdowns and vaccinations and actual ill-effects from the illness, but obviously the football schedule has been relentless,” he said.

“We’ve barely had a break with the Euros. And then, obviously we have the football season now – with a short break – start of the season, then the World Cup.

“Everybody else in business or in the world is currently in recovery mode, aren’t they? Whether they’ve lost money through Covid or had to furlough people, sack people… but it feels football is in full-on expansion mode in terms of the Super League and the World Cup every two years.”

Asked whether he felt that football’s administrators had considered the impact that an increased schedule would have on the wellbeing of the people taking part, Mings didn’t mince his words.

“Football just always seems to be 100 miles an hour, and without taking stock of players’ bodies,” said the 28-year-old, who admitted that he expects football authorities will find players to compete in the tournaments, even if certain professionals opt out.

“Now, I’m fully aware that players’ bodies certainly come secondary to the finances of football, because they’ll always find players to play the game.

“So, regardless of how it goes down, who is actually on the pitch… doesn’t actually make that much of a difference I don’t think to the decision-makers of the game.”

Tyrone Mings has joined Adam Peaty, Nicola Adams, and Heather Watson to form Alpro’s “Team PB” as they look to get the nation trying more plant-based protein and sports.