FIFA, UEFA and European clubs to discuss row

Updated: 04 March 2011 10:31 IST

Representatives of top European clubs and world and European football chiefs will meet next week to discuss a growing row about the saturated fixtures list, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Thursday.

FIFA, UEFA and European clubs to discuss row

Zurich:

Representatives of top European clubs and world and European football chiefs will meet next week to discuss a growing row about the saturated fixtures list, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Thursday.


The 136 member European Club Association (ECA) last month sharply criticised the way world football's governing body has been handling changes in football, calling for "democracy and transparency" and more dialogue.

The ECA feels the international match calendar is adding to the physical exhaustion of players and disrupting club sides, with more call ups for internationals and lengthier seasons mooted by footballing chiefs.

Meanwhile, Blatter questioned the size of national leagues and club competitions.

He suggested after a meeting of FIFA's executive committee that a balance had to be struck between the different interests.

"That's why we have a dialogue and we will already start next week on March 8, we have a meeting with the European Club Association here in Zurich together with the president of UEFA as well," Blatter told journalists.

Nonetheless, he took a critical view of the clubs' stance.

"If there is such a movement of the clubs to take over not only the international calendar, but also in all the organisation of football, then where are the national teams?"

"If you take away the importance of national teams then something is wrong," he added.

FIFA announced on Thursday that former German football star, manager and executive Franz Beckenbauer would chair a task force on the future of football, including the rules, refereeing, women's football and medical issues.

However, Blatter said the issue of the international calendar had been removed from the 2014 task force's remit.

"The calendar is so much more of a sports political matter than a technical matter," he explained.

The powerful European clubs have repeatedly complained about the growing intensity and breadth of league, European and international matches, as well as transfer and commercial issues over the years.

Club executives argued last month that FIFA's decision making was now "heavily affecting club football without the involvement of the stakeholders concerned".



Topics : France Mexico South Africa Republic of Ireland Federation Internationale de Football Association Football
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