Uefa agrees to scrap August friendlies at clubs’ request
Average number of international games in a calendar year set to be reduced from 12 to nine after clubs agree deal with Uefa
The number of international matches squeezed into the football calendar each year is set to be reduced after European clubs reached a “breakthrough” agreement with Uefa on Tuesday.
The deal, although yet to be agreed with Fifa, would see the number of international games played each year reduced from an average of 12 to nine.
The agreement, which also includes the scrapping of the unpopular August international friendly date, was announced by the European Club Association (ECA) general assembly in Warsaw on Tuesday.
Uefa has also agreed to provide insurance to cover the wages of players injured while on international duty.
“The agreement with Uefa is a major breakthrough for European club football,” said ECA chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. “With this agreement, Uefa clearly recognises the importance of clubs and the significant contribution they make to the success of national team football.”
The deal will also see Uefa increase the amount paid to clubs for their players taking part in the European championships in Poland and Ukraine.
The ECA has described that new figure, set to be confirmed in March, as a “substantial increase” on the €55m (£47m) paid at the last tournament – and will be further increased for the next tournament in 2016.
“The negotiations have not always proved easy, but were always conducted in a fair and respectful manner,” continued Rummenigge. “I sincerely thank Uefa, in particular Uefa President Platini, on behalf of all European clubs and look forward to our continued cooperation.
“This is once more a proof that in the European football family solutions can be found in a cooperative and fair way.”
“While an agreement has been reached with Uefa, the situation remains unsatisfactory in relation to Fifa. Unfortunately, discussions with the Fifa president have failed to lead to a satisfactory outcome which takes account of the clubs’ demands.”