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'Every idea is about more games' - Klopp blasts plans for biennial World Cup

7:15 AM MYT 11/09/2021
Jurgen Klopp Liverpool 2021-22
The German's comments come amid speculation that FIFA could move to hold their lucrative showpiece tournament every two years instead of four

Jurgen Klopp has blasted plans to hold the World Cup on a biennial basis, with the Liverpool manager stating that player welfare seems secondary to the game's powerbrokers as fixture congestion continues to pile up.

The German's comments come amid increasing speculation that FIFA could move to hold their lucrative showpiece tournament 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 Klopp has now become the latest big figure to raise concerns over player health.

What has been said?

"Every idea is about more games," Klopp said in quotes on The Guardian, before referencing a conversation he had with Wenger in August where he was propositioned on the concept of a World Cup every other year.

“I immediately said: ‘More games? That means every year a tournament? No chance, that is not right. Where is the good old, very important, pre-season where there is no tournament at all? All people who train for a big competition need preparation.

"If you go to the Olympics you go high in the mountains for lots of reasons, train there – and incredibly hard – and then they are well prepared for the moment when they have their competition.

"But footballers just play the whole year, then three weeks off, then two weeks’ pre-season preparation and then play again. That’s football. How do you improve this game if you only play all the time? You cannot.”

Klopp latest to chorus of dissent

On the back of two highly successful tournaments held in Europe - both the Russia 2018 World Cup and this year's rearranged pan-continental Euro 2020 - FIFA have suggested that there is a clamour to increase the number of showpiece tournaments.

Saudi Arabia's football governing body officially proposed the concept of a World Cup every two years in May, and the idea has continued to gather steam despite stern opposition from key figureheads in the game.

UEFA president Alexander Ceferin has already professed his concerns about the idea, while the surefire knock-on effect on an already-crowded fixture list is likely to be drastic too.

The bigger picture

If FIFA's plans are to ultimately come to fruition, they will not have any knock-on effect both domestically and internationally in the short-to-medium term.

Qatar is still set to host next year's 2022 World Cup, while the USA, Canada and Mexico will host four years later in 2026 after a successful triple bid.

Klopp and Liverpool meanwhile will return to club action this weekend when they face Leeds United in the Premier League.

Further reading