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European club boss ponders two international windows a year
September 5, 2017 / 2:47 PM / in 3 months

European club boss ponders two international windows a year

GENEVA (Reuters) - International soccer fixtures could be condensed into two periods per year, the new European Club Association (ECA) boss Andrea Agnelli suggested on Tuesday.

Newly appointed Chairman of European Club Association (ECA) Andrea Agnelli attends a news conference after ECA's General Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland September 5, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Agnelli, also chairman of Italian club Juventus, said such an idea could cut down on players commuting between Europe and South America, Africa and Asia to play in World Cup qualifiers and international tournaments.

There are 10 international dates this year, divided into batches of two, which could result in some players making five return intercontinental trips per year.

“If you have to keep the same amount of (match) days, could you just have two dedicated windows for national teams?” Agnelli asked.

“The issue for us, and for most of the teams who have overseas players, is especially in the autumn having them fly three or four times to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and elsewhere.”

The ECA has in the past persuaded global soccer body FIFA to cut down on the number of fixtures such as the August friendly date.

Agnelli said he appreciated that international matches were a significant part of the income for many smaller national federations.

“We have to discuss sensibly with UEFA, FIFA and the leagues and find solutions that meet the needs of all of us,” he said.

Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Clare Fallon

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