CAJ News Africa

JAVIER Mascherano, the legendary Argentina star, is the latest high profile figure in the beautiful game to support a proposal to hold the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) World Cup every two years.

His backing follows the global governing body disclosing it would conduct a feasibility study to determine whether it can hold the tournament biennially, with the same frequency applicable women’s version.

Currently, the most prestigious tournament in world football is a quadrennial- held every four years.

Famed Frenchman, Arsène Wenger, has endorsed the proposal of holding a World Cup every two years instead of every four.

Mascherano has expressed support to the ratification by former Arsenal manager, Wenger.

“Not only does it make sense, but it is a fundamental part of broad and positive changes to the international calendar,” the hugely-decorated Argentine was quoted by Spanish news agency - EFE.

The 37-year-old centreback-cum-defensive midfielder has won international awards with his country and Spanish titans, Barcelona.

Mascherano, boasting the second most appearances for Argentina (147), one less than Lionel Messi), conceded that the idea seemed strange since the World Cup has been every four years, since inception in 1930.

“But then, I contemplated it further, and I had the opportunity to talk to Arsène and other colleagues,” he said.

“Wenger is a real footballing personality and has been a visionary in many ways for many years,” Mascherano said.

“He (Wenger) continues to be, and it’s incredible to see a person of his experience dedicated to improving the game for future generations.”

Mascherano also advocated for a World Cup every two years, as coaching staff go through a long period of semi-inactivity.

“There are always things to do which are important; football goes beyond the matches alone,” the former club and national captain said.

“But this is one of the reasons why this format would work, as it opens up the possibility of having a second period in the year, at the end of the season, in which national teams would get the chance to play for an extended period of time.”

In conclusion, the San Lorenzo-born Mascherano said, “It's too cruel to have to wait another four years for your next chance.”

South American powerhouse, Argentina, has won the World Cup in 1978 and 1986. France are the defending champions.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of CAJ News Africa.

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