AL RAYYAN, Qatar – FIFA’s head of global football development, Arsene Wenger, has hinted that teams making political statements early in the World Cup have suffered poor on-field performances as a result.
The comments came at a media briefing for FIFA’s Technical Study Group, where Wenger and Jürgen Klinsmann shared their group stage results.
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Responding to a question about the impact of the shortened preparation period before the tournament, Klinsmann spoke of the importance of being able to adapt “mentally and physically” to the challenges of playing during the breaks and midterms of the European season. east.
“I struggled to adapt and for some reason coming here, especially mentally, I couldn’t adapt to everything I found here and how dynamic this World Cup is,” Klinsmann said. If not, they will have a hard time. “And we will have the negative surprises that we have seen in Germany, Denmark and other teams.”
These comments prompted Wenger to participate.
“A team that didn’t disappoint in their first match performance is a team with experience because they know they won’t lose the first match when they go to the World Cup,” Wenger said. , England and Brazil have had good results in previous tournaments, they played well in their first match and as Jürgen said they were mentally prepared as well. [had] The idea is to focus on competition, not political demonstrations. “
Wenger didn’t mention Germany by name, but he did point to Klinsmann’s home country, which lost to Japan in the opening match, before the players put their hands to their mouths in a pre-match photo on the field. The gesture was made in response to FIFA’s threats to seven European teams that they would face sanctions if they wore the ‘OneLove’ armband, which symbolizes diversity and tolerance.
Wenger did not elaborate on how he reached that conclusion and did not say whether the comments represented his personal opinion or that of the committee he was representing on stage. I didn’t specify if there were any.
“Of course it’s important to make a statement like this,” German striker Kai Havertz said after the game on ESPN. , I think it was the right time to show people that first, yes, we’re trying to help wherever we can.
Germany coach Hansi Flick added: “It was a sign from us, the team, that FIFA was silenced.”
After defeating Japan 26-12, Germany lost 2-1 in the first match, followed by a 1-1 draw against Spain and a 4-2 win against Costa Rica, but they were unable to advance. I couldn’t.
Early in the briefing, Klinsmann attributed the German defeat to the lack of a productive No. 9.