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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The future of the Confederations Cup is uncertain given the strain it puts on clubs, players and World Cup organisers, German Football Association President Reinhard Grindel said on Wednesday.
The international tournament is staged by every World Cup host in the year before the sport's biggest prize and was conceived as a way of helping organisers test venues and operations ahead of the big event.
It features continental competition winners, the world champions and the Worlds Cup hosts. This year's begins on June 17 in Russia, which hosts next year's World Cup.
There will be no competition in 2021 ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar due to the summer heat in the desert state.
The World Cup itself will be played during winter months, when temperatures are somewhat cooler -- a decision that has angered clubs and federations as it affects league action in many countries.
"For the 2022 World Cup in Qatar there are already problems with the timetable, so (the date switch) can hardly happen (there) two years in a row," added Grindel, who is also a council member at world soccer governing body FIFA.
"The 2026 World Cup (which will feature 48 teams) will not be any longer as a tournament ... but it still will have 16 more teams," Grindel told reporters.
"Those (teams) also have players from the Bundesliga (German top division) who will not come back early and be fully fit."
Germany has sent a second-string squad to Russia to give key players a rest ahead of next year's world title defence. They kick off their group matches against Australia on June 19.
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann,; Editing by Neville Dalton