ARSENAL icon Arsene Wenger has been “brainwashed” into making “stupid statements” since joining Fifa, according to Norway manager Stale Solbakken.
The Gunners legend, 73, who joined football’s world governing body in 2019, is currently the organisation’s head of global development.
GettyArsene Wenger made some controversial comments during the World Cup[/caption]
ReutersNorway coach Stale Solbakken is not impressed with Wenger’s comments[/caption]
He hit the headlines during the World Cup for claiming the teams that had focused on football over politics had fared better on the pitch.
They both went on to exit the tournament in the group stage.
Wenger said: “You know when you go to a World Cup, you know you can’t lose the first game.
“The teams who were mentally ready, with a mindset to focus on competition, and not the political demonstrations.”
Many issues around Qatar had been discussed before and continued throughout the competition, namely the treatment of migrant workers, the LGBTQ community, and human rights abuses.
Now Norway head coach Solbakken, whose country categorically opposed the Qatar tournament even before they failed to qualify, has slammed ex-Arsenal boss Wenger’s decision to support the event.
Speaking to Norwegian channel TV 2, he said: “It shudders to see that the smartest man in the world, Arsene Wenger, who has been looked up to over the years, has somehow been brainwashed and is now making the most stupid statements.
“It’s scary with all the people we’ve looked up to in the football world for years.
“There’s a polarisation going on right now, and I’m afraid it’s going to get worse.”
Earlier this year, Norway’s president Lise Klaveness criticised the decision to award the tournament to Qatar.
And in 2021, the team, which included Erling Haaland, wore protest t-shirts ahead of their World Cup qualifiers.