Arsene Wenger looking at radical revamp to football season calendar with internationals in just two fortnight blocks
ARSENE Wenger is pushing for a revamp of the football calendar – to condense all international football into just two fortnight-long blocks in the season.
Former Arsenal boss Wenger is now Fifa’s director of global football development, with the ear of world chief Gianni Infantino.
And now the Frenchman has added his weight to plans to reframe the season to change the stop-start nature of the campaign through the autumn.
International breaks for qualifiers in September, October and November have long drawn complaints from fans because of the disrupted rhythm.
But now Wenger has called for just one autumn break, and another in the early spring, with a third block in the summer to ensure the standard 12 international games are played.
Instead of two or three games in the blocks, a full fortnight could allow four matches to be played and for players to have a week to prepare for their next club games.
The “International Match Calendar” is one of the key items on Fifa’s upcoming agenda and Wenger said: “One of the solutions we will discuss is to compact the qualifiers.
“Instead of going away in October, November, September, March, June, we regroup the qualifiers all in one month or two quadruples in October and in February.
“If that happened the players can dedicate that time to the club from March until June, and we would gain four dates.
"The ideal solution would be to regroup the qualifiers in one month, let's say in October.
Instead of going away in October, November, September, March, June, we regroup the qualifiers all in one month or two quadruples in October and in February
“You qualify then and the rest of the season you play for your club.
“Then at the end of the season you play the national team Championships but that will be a complete evolution, not revolution."
It also would mean a system of pre-qualifying for the minnows to earn the right to join the bigger nations in the final qualifying stage – not an idea likely to find favour.
Wenger again suggested the World Cup and European Championships could be played every two years – although that would not leave room for Infantino’s planned expanded Club World Cup.
He added: “When I was in Japan, we played from March until November and it was perfect.
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"It would make things more simple. And let's not forget that this summer break comes from the way where people were not professional, it’s over 100 years ago.
“With the physical resources that the players need today, it's important that you have four weeks’ holiday every summer.
"After that maybe you need to go down to 18 clubs in domestic leagues, everywhere."
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