FIFA official Wenger knocks teams protesting at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — FIFA official Arsene Wenger takes a shot at the World Cup. Teams trying to make political statements In Qatar, they did not focus on their first games on Sunday.

Wenger said teams who had a good opening game were mentally prepared to focus on the match “and not on political demonstration”. The former Arsenal manager did not specify which teams he was talking about during his analysis of the group games at a media event hosted by FIFA as head of global football development.

Both Denmark and Germany did not perform well in their first games. Denmark drew 0-0 with Tunisia, while Germany lost 2-1 to Japan.

They are among the seven European football confederations at the World Cup

However, Wenger did not overlook the part FIFA played in the dispute by avoiding the issue before the teams arrived at the World Cup. Later, apparently under pressure from Qatari officials, it allowed the extension to November 21, just hours before England and the Netherlands were due to win their first matches.

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Hours before those games, FIFA forced the board to board England captain Harry Kane and Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk have been threatened with yellow cards from the European confederations. They receive a second yellow and are sent off and suspended for the next match.

Denmark played without protest on November 22, as Germany’s players lined up for their pregame team photo and were silenced by World Cup organizers to show their silence. Both teams then failed to advance to the knockout rounds.

The Danish Football Association has come under constant criticism ahead of the Qatar-hosted tournament over migrant workers who help build World Cup projects, bringing out colored uniforms with a black preference. Represents the color of grief. He did not wear the black jersey in Denmark’s three games.

Wenger, a long-time commentator for Qatari broadcaster beIN Sports, said Sunday’s World Cup games were popular around the world “despite all the negative publicity we got earlier.”

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German footballer Jurgen Klinsmann, who shared the stage with Wenger, offered a different theory, addressing the mental health demands of European players in Qatar.

Klinsmann analyzes games for FIFA And famous players in Europe’s biggest leagues had to adapt to playing club games until a week before the World Cup. started Teams usually have at least two weeks to prepare after the European season for the regular World Cup, which starts in June.

“Preparing a team in a week is very difficult for coaches, obviously,” said Klinsmann, who coached the World Cup twice with Germany in 2006 and the USA in 2014.

“Teams have serious mental challenges,” he said, adding that expanded teams with 26 players instead of the usual 23 left-handed coaches are “dealing with 15 unhappy players.”

Two tactical trends were highlighted by Wenger from 48 games in the group stage – the importance of attacking from wider positions on the pitch and the ability of goalkeepers to pass the ball as an outlet to teammates under pressure from the opposition.

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“I personally think the team with the best wide players will win this match,” Wenger said.

With opponents now better defending the center of the field, attacking teams are forced to find space on the flanks, leading to fewer long-range shots.

The evolution of the “sweeper keeper” role pioneered by Germany captain Manuel Neuer has seen a 70% increase since the 2018 World Cup saw goalkeepers opt to receive the ball with their feet.

“It’s a fascinating development of the goalkeeper’s position,” Klinsmann said, adding that youth training should be adapted so potential keepers also spend time playing in outfield positions to develop their ball control and passing skills.

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AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports



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