European Club Association Want International Games Reduced

September 7, 2011

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asthma helvetica, sans-serif;”>The European Club Association (ECA) is looking for the number of International games during the season to be reduced or even halved by 2014.

The current international calendar expires in 2014 and provides for 12 games a year but the ECA wants the games to be closer to 6. These fixtures would not include games at major tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup and continental competitions, along with pre-tournament friendlies.

Manchester United chief executive David Gill, an ECA board member, said: “In an ideal world we would be talking about six double dates over a two-year period. This is a reduction but still gives the right balance between the requirements of the national team and what the clubs want.”

ECA president, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, added: “Everything regarding the calendar has been tailored in favour of the national teams; I believe now is the time to re-discover the balance between the interest of the national teams and the clubs.”

Along with the international calendar, the ECA’s agenda also included the establishment of an insurance policy for players injured on international duty and “just compensation” to clubs for the release of their players. “I believe we are the most important stakeholder in football,” said Rummenigge. “Without our players and employees, who are paid exclusively by the clubs, you cannot run the business. That is something all federations have to recognise. Everybody believes it is time that governing bodies recognise that clubs have to be included in the decision-making process.”

Rummenigge stated he had spoken to both FIFA president Sepp Blatter and UEFA counterpart Michel Platini, adding that he was not “pessimistic” that a deal could be reached. Rummenigge presented a more conciliatory tone on Tuesday after in the past calling for a club-led “revolution” against the decision makers in world football, railing against the “daily corruption process at FIFA”.  The ECA was formed in the wake of the disbanding of the G-14 Group in January 2008. It represents 201 clubs across Europe and is fully recognised by FIFA.