Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk has confirmed that both he and some of the members of the Reds squad will meet with Arsene Wenger over the controversial plans to hold a World Cup every two years.
Ther former Arsenal manager is now FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development and his organisation’s proposals to radically change the international football calendar have been met with widespread concern. Van Dijk says he holds the same reservations as others but he will sit down with Wenger to hear him out.
“Soon, there will be a meeting of Liverpool players, including myself, with Arsène Wenger. That is about the plan to play a World Cup every two years. We as players will give our opinion. When we, as senior players from Liverpool and from other top English clubs, do that, then they have to listen, I think.”
“The games are piling up. On the other hand, playing matches is the most fun there is. But we also have to look closely at the health and safety of the player. I don’t think it’s a good idea, a World Cup every two years. Even more so because the World Cup must remain special. I think we should keep it as it is now. Even though I won’t be able to experience many World Cups myself.”
A study was approved by the FIFA Congress back in May to assess the feasibility of biennial men’s and women’s World Cups. An online summit featuring FIFA’s 211 member associations will take place near the end of next month, where it is hoped an agreement can be reached on the way forward.
As van Dijk says, though, more international matches will inevitably lead to more injuries, and you can’t see how it can be good for player welfare.