England's Friday fixture will help Fabio and clubs but fans are the losers

26 March 2010 01:03
A radical change in the fixture schedules for England's 2012 European Championship qualifying campaign will enhance the relationship between Fabio Capello and leading Barclays Premier League clubs - but will anger sections of the national team's fans.

A UEFA initiative means several qualifiers will take place on Friday and Tuesday nights, so shortening the time players are away from their clubs and giving them an extra day to recover before match action the following weekend.

Star turn: Wayne Rooney will lead England's qualifying quest

England Group G fixtures Friday September 2: Bulgaria (h)

Tuesday September 7: Switzerland (a)

Tuesday October 12: Montenegro (h)

Saturday March 26, 2011: Wales (a)

Saturday June 4: Switzerland (h)

Friday September 2: Bulgaria (a)

Tuesday September 7: Wales (h)

Friday October 7:  Montenegro (a)

However, England supporters will take a less enthusiastic view of thebreak with tradition as it will be more difficult to attend a Friday international for those outside the capital.

Just one home game is scheduled to take place on a Friday night - the opening qualifier against Bulgaria in early September - but, if the plan proves a success among managers, it is likely to become a more regular occurrence.

England fan Gary Chalkwell, of Manchester, said: 'I couldn't afford totake time off work, while my two young sons wouldn't be allowed to takea day off from school if the match is in term-time. Once again, theinterests of the paying fans are being ignored.'

Michael Brunskill, of the Football Supporters' Federation, said: 'It'sinteresting that there are some Friday fixtures for England and Wales.While it's good for watching in the pub with your mates, it does meanan extra day off work for many England regulars.

Click here to view all the finalised fixturesFor Capello, however, there are positives. The switch to Tuesdays, in particular, will ease potential tension with senior club managers when it comes to call-ups.

At the fixtures draw in Tel Aviv yesterday, England were relatively lucky, not least because they avoided June matches in the heat of Bulgaria and Montenegro.

Tests: Fabio Capello

The campaign kicks off at home to Bulgaria on September 3.

Meanwhile, 2010 World Cup organisers will talk to David Beckham about having a role at the tournament's opening ceremony. Organising committee chief executive Danny Jordaan claimed there have already been suggestions Beckham will travel to South Africa with the England squad.

Beckham is also expected to be involved in promoting England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

 England start Euro 2012 qualifiers with Friday night clash with Bulgaria at Wembley. and Wales showdowns arrive next yearEURO 2012 DRAW: England paired with Wales in crunch qualifying campaign


Source: Daily_Mail