Arsene Wenger will meet national team bosses this week as he looks to generate support for plan to hold the World Cup every two years.
The Arsenal legend, who is now FIFA’s chief of global football development, is due to meet international head coaches this week as his blue print to hold the World Cup biennially gathers pace.
England manager Gareth Southgate has already held informal discussions with Wenger about the plan – but the next set of discussions will provide an opportunity for a more detailed understanding of how the changes would work.
The 71-year-old has already appeared bullish about the prospects of his plan eventually being accepted by those in the world game.
His plans would see the first two year cycle begin in 2028 – just two years after the 2026 World Cup – to be held in the US, Mexico and Canada.
Speaking to L’Equipe, Wenger said: ‘I consulted everyone and I asked them two questions. 1. Do you want things to continue as they are? 100 per cent said no. 2. Do you have ideas to reorganise the international calendar? I am open to all ideas.
‘Between 80 per cent to 90 per cent of people like the idea of reorganising qualification rounds, to shorten them, and to make space for an international competition.
‘A World Cup every two years, there was more reticence towards it because there is something emotional in it. We are all in this routine and cycle of a World Cup every four years which seems natural. But when you look at history, it is not that natural.
‘I am open to all suggestions and all criticisms. They are welcome for me. This is not a personal fight for me. The only thing that I ask is that those who are criticising the project, that they give me something better.
‘But don’t try to denigrate my credibility. I would prefer that people criticise the project and tell me why.’