UEFA revamps timetables for international events
Published : 05 Oct 2011 15:05:41Rss feed
European qualifying matches for major international tournaments will be played across six days between Thursdays and Tuesdays from 2014 to maximise TV coverage and broadcast income.
The move will leave international teams with only a two-day break between qualifying matches in World Cup and European Championship double-headers, in what is being dubbed 'The Week of Football' by UEFA, European football's governing body.
Teams will play either Thursdays and Sundays, Fridays and Mondays, or Saturdays and Tuesdays.
Most double-headers are currently being played on Fridays and Tuesdays, giving an extra day of rest, but UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino, speaking at the Leaders in Football conference in London on Wednesday, admitted it was important for the sport's global image to have internationals played at weekends.
"You can play every three days. It's what happening in club football all year long so that's not a problem," he said.
"This has been unanimously supported by all 53 national associations.
"If we leave the weekend to other sports then in the medium and long-term it will be damaging."
The move is sure to infuriate club managers, who will fear their players suffering injuries due to the extra strain of playing twice in quick succession.