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09 June 2023

FIFA: new dates for teams to reduce delays

Photo: WAM


FIFA created a new period for international team matches on Tuesday in the middle of the 2021-2022 European soccer season to hold matches that were suspended due to the COVID-19pandemic.

FIFA’s decision could force a 10-day lockdown for European clubs, which have long pressured the organisation to limit the number of times their players must travel internationally and risk injury playing for their countries, according to AP.

The top divisions in the European leagues, which have to leave a matchless weekend during international matches, have not yet discussed FIFA’s decision, the league group said Tuesday.

The request for new dates from FIFA came last month from CONMEBOL, which has lagged behind in its planned 2022 World Cup qualifying program.

FIFA further confirmed that it has created a space for the African Cup of Nations to be played in January 2022 instead of January next year. That step had already been announced by the African Confederation, but the exact dates have not been announced. That tournament usually forces European clubs to do without their African players for several weeks in the middle of their seasons.

The FIFA calendar dictates when clubs around the world have to release players for duels with their national teams. and European clubs have been trying for more than a decade to reduce the number of those dates.

Now, the European leagues will have to decide whether to add an additional break to an already loaded schedule for the 2021-2022 campaign. The campaign must end early to help get the next one started earlier to accommodate the 2022 World Cup.