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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hit back at FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s criticism of the Premier League’s plans to play a round of international fixtures abroad.

Wenger, who said he was “not a 100 per cent defender of the idea”, said he felt it was unreasonable to criticise the proposals without considering the implications.

“My reaction is that I am surprised by the immensity of the battle, that people are against it without really analysing the pros and the cons,” he told reporters on Friday.

Blatter was quoted as saying on Thursday the scheme was purely a money-making exercise that ignored the wishes of fans.

“I agree that you have to respect the competition and the fans but for me the biggest disrespect to the fans is to take their money out of their pockets without giving them any quality in return,” Wenger said.

He agreed that the idea might be seen by some as an example of the Premier League becoming too full of it itself.

“It could be one of the reasons,” he said. “But a lot of people are coming out against it, without analysing it, and the English Premier League is trying to do something for the fans who are abroad, which I like.

“That the English Premier League wants to be dominant in the world, I like that as well – because I am a part of it! So, I think there are a lot of plusses as well.”

Only six Premier League sides remain in the last 16 of the FA Cup and we’ve got all the match betting in our BestPrice coupon on the weekend games. Click here!

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