ZURICH: European club representatives will not be attending discussions with FIFA next month about the international calendar. A statement issued by the European Club Asssociation – whose chaiman is Bayern Munich’s Karl-Heinz Rummenigge – said: “The board decided that, until further notice, no ECA executive will participate in FIFA meetings.”
One basic reason is that the clubs do not believe FIFA is giving enough consideration and weight to their proposals and concerns.
The ECA is made up of 201 clubs including Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal, Aston Villa, Everton, Fulham, Newcastle, Tottenham, Celtic, Rangers, Hearts and Aberdeen.
In September, the ECA called for the number of internationals a season to be slashed from 12 to six. Manchester United chief executive David Gill, an ECA board member, said last year the clubs were especially keen to get rid of international friendly dates in June and August.
He said: “In an ideal world, we’ve been talking about six double-dates over the two-year period. It’s a reduction but still gives the right balance to the requirements of the national teams and what the clubs want.”
The ECA also want FIFA to take out insurance to pay for the salaries of players injured on international duty.
One fascination about forthcoming talks is that this could lay down international dates from here to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar – which suggests further talks may have been undertaken about whether it should take place in winter or summer.