Wenger defends new Fifa Club World Cup format

PARIS: Fifa's chief of global football development Arsene Wenger defended on Tuesday the new Club World Cup format for 2025, which has come in for criticism since its announcement.

The world football governing body announced last Sunday the 2025 edition of its showpiece club event, which will take place over June and July and feature 32 teams from across its six confederations.

The new format has subsequently been criticised in a statement from the global players' union FIFPRO due to the increased player workload it would entail and the impact of this on the "mental and physical health", as well as the "personal and family lives" of players.

Wenger responded in a Fifa press release: "I accept that the football calendar is a busy one, but this is a competition that is going to take place every four years and of course the rest period during the competition and afterwards has to be respected.

"The welfare of the players in the last 20 years has increased dramatically as well, when you look at injury prevention, recovery work, nutrition and advances in medical technology. It is unrecognisable from what it used to be."

The former Arsenal manager justified Fifa's decision by explaining that "there's logic behind the thinking from clubs and Fifa to organise a Club World Cup that is similar in format to the nations World Cup."

"It's important that we make football really global and this creates a chance for other clubs to progress, this is the real target. It will give more opportunities to more players all over the world to compete at the highest level." --AFP

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