Soccer-Biennial World Cup would affect quality says Leicester's Rodgers

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Norwich City v Leicester City - Carrow Road, Norwich, Britain - August 28, 2021 Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers celebrates with Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi after the match Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

(Reuters) - Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers said on Thursday that a biennial World Cup could increase player fatigue, which in turn would affect the quality of matches and increase injury risks.

Soccer's world governing body FIFA is pushing proposals to hold the event every two years, a plan that has been opposed by several stakeholders, including the European Leagues.

"My initial thought is that it's important to think of the players," Rodgers told reporters ahead of Leicester's Premier League match at home to champions Manchester City on Saturday.

"It's about the quality of football, because the players, the guys who have to play the games, it's arguable that they can play too much... I enjoy having the Euros and then a couple of years and going to the World Cup.

"The last thing you want is to see players who have played 60 games going into tournament football. Then the quality will be affected and it increases the risk of injury."

Rodgers said Leicester's Belgium players will only be back from international duty on Friday, but most of his squad is available for Saturday's match.

Leicester have won only four of their last 11 meetings with City who are managed by Pep Guardiola.

"They're an incredible team, they've got one of the world's best managers, so it's always a huge challenge," Rodgers said.

"You know you are going to be restricted on the ball, but when you have it, it's having that confidence... You need to defend well, play well, get a bit of luck, and take the opportunities."

Both teams have won two of their first three league games of the season, with Leicester in ninth while City are seventh.

(Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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