Arsene Wenger, who now works as FIFA's Chief of Global Football Development, has received huge backlash for comments regarding teams who took on 'political demonstrations' during the World Cup.
The most notable act was the German team covering their mouths for a team photo, in response to FIFA banning the wearing of the OneLove armband.
Germany, who had a horrible tournament, were knocked out in the group stages, and Wenger implied that a reason for this was because they were more focused on challenging FIFA than on the football.
Teams like France, England, and Brazil played well in the first game. The teams who were mentally ready to focus on the competition and not on political demonstration.
Wenger has now been labelled as an 'Infantino messenger boy', and accused of having no 'backbone', after his actions.
Arsene Wenger Criticised For World Cup Demonstration Stance
Arsene Wenger is a FIFA employee speaking in Qatar. Once he decided to take that path, he signed up to this nonsense and risked his reputation. https://t.co/75lQ0po5UI
— Colin Millar (@Millar_Colin) December 4, 2022
Sad to see the direction Wenger seems to be heading in (factor in the barmy WC every two years idea). As someone who modernised the club game and championed emotional intelligence, he's regressing into an Infantino messenger boy.
— Adam Powley (@adampowley) December 4, 2022
Is Wenger Out still a thing and, if so, where can I join?
— Seb Stafford-Bloor (@SebSB) December 4, 2022
Arsene Wenger's comments are really disappointing.
Feels like something he's been encouraged to put out from FIFA. Thought he had a bit more backbone than that 👎
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) December 4, 2022
During the technical briefing which Wenger was speaking at, he also discussed the controversial move to increase the World Cup in 2026 from 32 to 48 teams.
“It may be 16 groups of three, 12 groups of four, two sides of six groups of four. I will not decide that, it will be decided by Fifa Council next year.
“[The 48-team World Cup] will represent not even 25% of the world, 22%. It will give more opportunities to teams and will give more incentive to develop football inside their countries. We analyse football across the world in 205 countries, and there is a deficit of education in many countries in the world. We have created the Talent Development Scheme to fight against that but I am convinced that if countries have more opportunities to go to the world stage, it will do more to develop football in their country.”