‘It’s a technical matter’ – Gambia’s Saintfiet wants coaches’ input on biennial World Cup

Gambia national team coach Tom Saintfiet stated that national team coaches have a say as it concerns organising a biennial Fifa World Cup.

Former Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger, now Fifa’s chief of global football development, came out with the proposal to make the global football showpiece every two years.

The Frenchman’s suggestion would also see fewer international breaks, with condensed qualification campaigns in October and March.

With the study still ongoing, the Scorpions handler has weighed in on the hot topic and opined that the coaches of Fifa’s 211 national associations should have input on any vote about making the competition biennial.

“I believe that coaches are more important in this case because it’s a technical matter,” Saintfiet told the BBC’s World Football podcast.

“Presidents are not always as occupied with the technical part of it and the complexity.”

“Consulting us was a very good step forward,” the Belgian added.

“The frequency of the World Cup has no influence on the chances that a smaller country will qualify because the Fifa rankings always give the advantage to teams who are higher-ranked, and they have easier groups to qualify.

“Probably, the same 50 countries will qualify every two years for such a World Cup. If you don’t change that, it will be always the same countries who qualify.”

“One thing that Wenger said was that he has no experience as a national team coach. He looked from the point of view of the Arsenal manager.

“That’s naturally quite important if you have someone in charge of such a topic who never coached a national team, who has no experience on that level, who has the other side, working in the Premier League, always playing Europa (League) games and focussing on that.

“If you’re a coach of a European national team, you have different problems and fewer problems than if you’re coaching in Africa, Asia or Latin America.”

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