Soccer

England boss Sarina Wiegman against proposals to host World Cups every two years

England boss Sarina Wiegman is against proposals to host World Cups every two years as she vowed to take the Lionesses to the next level.

Wiegman was appointed as England manager last year but only named her first squad last week as she prepares for World Cup qualifiers against North Macedonia and Luxembourg.

If she can guide them to the tournament it will take place in Australia and New Zealand in the summer of 2023.

The format of the competition could soon change, however, as FIFA is holding a feasibility study into shortening the gap between men’s and women’s World Cups from four to two years.

Wiegman joined the England set-up following a successful stint as Holland boss which saw her land the 2017 Women’s Euros and finish runners-up in the 2019 World Cup.

The 51-year-old singled out the welfare of the players as the main reason she would be against FIFA’s plans.

“I think in Europe we have a very good competition,” she said.

“So the Euros are great, the World Cup is great, the Olympics are great so that is three tournaments. I think if you have a World Cup every two years that is too much for the players at the moment so I wouldn’t be cheering for it right now.

“It is too many tournaments, for Europe it is good (at the moment), the development in Europe for women’s football is ahead of most other continents.

“So for Europe it is not necessary, it is about visibility but I also think we need to take care of the well-being of the players and sometimes they need a rest.

“Of course because of Covid we have five tournaments in a row, which is enough. At big tournaments you want the best players on the pitch.

“If you look now at the competitions in England there are so many games, Champions League, international players and you play for your club team – you play so many games because you are one of the best, you are a game-changer so when can you have a rest, we should take care of the welfare of the players.

“You don’t want two tournaments (men and women’s) at the same time because people are going to have to choose.”

While Wiegman was winning the 2017 Euros as Holland boss, England made it to the semi-finals, having lost the final to Germany eight years earlier.

I think if you have a World Cup every two years that is too much for the players at the moment so I wouldn’t be cheering for it right now.

Wiegman’s test now is to take England a step further and she believes she is the right woman to move them there.

“It’s the hardest step, but we’re very ambitious too and, in this environment, you want challenges,” she added.

“Of course I’ve come here to come to the next level. I’m really enjoying that, it’s really challenging. First of all, with the staff, we will have to facilitate [things] so the players can shine.

“What triggered me the most was being able to work with some of the best in the world. With one of the biggest federations in the world. With the growth of the game.”

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