KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: The European Leagues organisation has rejected all of the calendar reform proposals developed by world federation FIFA and promoted by development director Arsene Wenger.
A feasibility study organised by FIFA in response to a congress vote last spring led to plans for a biennial World Cup and replacement of the current international break windows with one or two month-long national team competition qualifying time-outs.
This has gone down badly throughout European football and the European Leagues’ statement, after a two-day general assembly in Milan, is the latest declaration of opposition.
A statement said:
The European Leagues unanimous strongly reject all the proposals of FIFA for changes in the IMC.
• The proposals for a biennial World Cup and consequently biennial continental tournaments like the
UEFA Euro as well as both options for the international release windows and the way a mandatory rest
period for players is presented are rejected.
• The FIFA proposals lead, amongst other things, to a calendar shift from club football to national team
football and a severe shift in sporting and economic value from domestic to international competitions.
• The FIFA proposals are detrimental for the domestic competitions, the clubs, the players and the fans of
football and cannot be accepted.
The European Leagues present the following position on the IMC to all members:
• No shift in calendar balance between domestic club competitions and international club and national
• World Cup and other continental tournaments to be played on currently scheduled frequency
• As limited changes as possible in the international release windows.
• If certain changes must happen, then always with a clear look at the interests of all different leagues
(Summer and Winter).
• Rest periods for players to be arranged at domestic level.