Fifa to discuss longer but fewer international breaks during season

October 7, 2017
Source: BBC
Fifa to discuss longer but fewer international breaks during season

Fifa is considering introducing longer but fewer international breaks during the domestic season.

World football's governing body, which wants to find a balance between club and national team competitions, is at the start of the consultation process.

There are currently four international breaks - each lasting two weeks - during a season.

The current break is the second of the 2017-18 campaign, with others scheduled in November and March.

The dates of the international breaks are fixed until 2024, unless stakeholders - including clubs, leagues and broadcasters - agree to a change.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger have criticised the timing of the October break, which has coincided with impressive runs of form for their clubs.

In June, the International Football Association Board said it was considering shortening each half to 30 minutes and a proposal of allowing players to dribble the ball when taking a free-kick.

Analysis

Former England midfielder Owen Hargreaves on BBC Radio 5 live

I think it will be hard to be away from your club for longer. Sometimes already you are away for 10 or 11 days - to be away for longer is difficult.

Club managers complain when their players come back injured and international managers don't have enough time with their players, so it will be a difficult issue to address.