Arsène Wenger explains review process on future of men’s football

19 Oct 2021
  • FIFA Chief of Global Development heading transversal analysis of annual schedule

  • Wenger describes “outdated” current format in bid to “improve the football of tomorrow”

  • No agreement in place for men’s football calendar from 2024

FIFA Chief of Global Development Arsène Wenger has summarised the objectives of the ongoing comprehensive review of the international match calendar for men’s football, reinforcing the need for maintaining the current balance between national team and club football, whilst finding a way to optimise the schedule for all concerned. A vast array of stakeholders from across the game are being invited to present their feedback, views and ideas on football’s future as FIFA uses its platform to welcome debate and diverse opinions on how to enhance the schedule.

“I’ve been thinking of ways to improve the football of tomorrow,” says Wenger. “The international match calendar governs the balance between club and national team football by setting the dates on which players represent their countries. The balance is 80:20 and we want it to stay that way. But the current format doesn’t work anymore and is outdated.”

As well as welcoming feedback on improvements to the annual calendar, Wenger recaps his suggestions in the video, which include:

  • Rearranging national team football into fewer but longer windows to reduce travels for players, allowing them to optimise their performance and simplify the calendar for fans;

  • Thus creating space for meaningful final tournaments in June without adding more matches to the annual total; and

  • Establishing an annual mandatory rest period for players.

“Those are my proposals for the future of football,” concludes Wenger. “We want to listen to other views and ideas in order to optimise the calendar for everyone.”