Former Nigeria coach Oliseh says four-year cycle makes World Cup ‘exceptional’

Dialogues are currently ongoing about organisation of the global football showpiece after the Fifa Congress in May

Former Nigeria midfielder and coach Sunday Oliseh believes the current four-year cycle of the Fifa World Cup makes it an ‘exceptional’ competition for players.

Fifa are currently studying the impact of switching the men’s World Cup and the women’s World Cup to biennial competitions after 166 national federations voted in its favour during their last congress in May.

Oliseh who played for Nigeria at the 1994 and 1998 editions of the global showpiece, dislcosed four-year cycle makes the World Cup memorable and he also suggested why African countries want the tournament to be organised every two years.

The President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick said making the World Cup a biennial event would bring about growth on the African continent and Ivory Coast legend Yaya Toure threw his weight behind it.

“Personally as a player, it would be interesting to say ‘OK, in a six-year period, I could play three World Cups’,” Oliseh told BBC World Service.

“But what actually makes the World Cup exceptional is the build-up to the event – the four-year wait and the fact that sometimes it’s a once-in-a-lifetime occasion for certain players.

“I can see why African football is happy with it because it goes with the Africa Cup of Nations which, every two years, helps us to sell ourselves.

“We need it. We need funds coming in like the ones these major tournaments bring in – we need it from that point of view.”

Oliseh added that active players and their clubs should be asked about the switch before any decision is made.

“I don’t think we should be consulting mostly ex-players – we should be consulting the players now,” the former Ajax midfielder said.

“The Mbappes, the Benzemas, you have to ask all those ones and they have to give their opinion. They are the actors now.

“To say ‘I played three World Cups’ would be great for some players, but let’s not forget that the actual employer of players are the clubs. No matter what happens with the national team, they are the ones who pay the wages.

“They are the ones giving the players the financial, psychological and health capability to be at their best to participate in major tournaments for their countries.

“So now we are having this discussion, shouldn’t the club owners be consulted? Shouldn’t the cl ub managers be consulted?”

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