Football

Sunday Oliseh opposes plans for biennial World Cup

Former Super Eagles head coach Sunday Oliseh is not happy with the plans to hold the World Cup on a biennial basis.

Oliseh comments came amid increasing speculation that FIFA could move to hold the world’s greatest football competition every two years instead of four, despite strong opposition from UEFA and other continental governing bodies.

Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, now FIFA’s chief of global football development, has been touting a possible transition for several months amid a feasibility study-but Oliseh stated that the four-year cycle makes the World Cup memorable.

“Personally as a player, it would be interesting to say ‘OK, in a six-year period, I could play three World Cups’,” Oliseh told BBC World Service.

“But what actually makes the World Cup exceptional is the build-up to the event – the four-year wait and the fact that sometimes it’s a once-in-a-lifetime occasion for certain players.

“I can see why African football is happy with it because it goes with the Africa Cup of Nations which, every two years, helps us to sell ourselves.

“We need it. We need funds coming in like the ones these major tournaments bring in – we need it from that point of view.”

Oliseh added that active players and their clubs should be engaged about the potential switch before any decision is made.

“I don’t think we should be consulting mostly ex-players – we should be consulting the players now,” the former Ajax midfielder said.

“The Mbappes, the Benzemas, you have to ask all those ones and they have to give their opinion. They are the actors now.

“To say ‘I played three World Cups’ would be great for some players, but let’s not forget that the actual employer of players are the clubs. No matter what happens with the national team, they are the ones who pay the wages.

“They are the ones giving the players the financial, psychological and health capability to be at their best to participate in major tournaments for their countries.

“So now we are having this discussion, shouldn’t the club owners be consulted? Shouldn’t the club managers be consulted?”

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