Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has stated that he is opposed to the new World Cup plans being driven by the president of Federation International Football Association (FIFA), Gianni Infantino, who until he assumed his present position was the Secretary General of European football’s governing body, UEFA.
Infantino recently disclosed that he has solid backing to increase the FIFA World Cup slots from 32 to 48 with 16 groups of three teams each being proposed as from the 2026 FIFA World Cup while a 40-team proposal is also on the table.
When asked about his position on the proposal during his pre-match press conference ahead of Arsenal’s English Premier League (EPL) clash with in-form Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, Wenger said: “My thoughts on that are is it guided for popular reasons? Or is that guided to improve the level of football? I’m a bit sceptical.”
“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 think I am not convinced. We have moved to 24 teams in Europe [in the European championship], that’s basically 50 per cent of the teams we have in Europe.
“But 48 teams – we have about 300 teams in the world, the percentage looks that it could be accepted. I can’t see that being a huge improvement on the quality of the game.” he concluded.
Arsenal could finish at the top of the table by Saturday with a two-goal win over Stoke City ahead of league leaders’ clash with West Brom at the Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.