looks to ease the fixture burden on players
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[March 24, 2017]
By Brian Homewood
ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA needs to take
care of the players when it plans the next international match
calendar, the head of a key committee at soccer's governing body
told Reuters on Thursday.
Victor Montagliani said that the international calendar and the
transfer system were among the priorities for the football
stakeholders committee, which brings together representatives of the
players, clubs and leagues.
The current match calendar runs until 2024 and allows for around
eight to 10 international matches per year in addition to major
tournaments such as the World Cup, European championship and Copa
Top players can easily play 60 to 70 matches in a season for their
clubs and national teams.
"It's a pretty busy match calendar, so we need to take care of the
players, all of us, because at the end of the day, that's what we're
all here for," said Montagliani, who is also president of CONCACAF.
"The FIFA staff have started collecting data in terms of people's
opinions... they have started to talk to coaches, they have talked
to players, they have talked to all the stakeholders."
The new committee, which met for the first time on Thursday, was set
up after soccer's governing body FIFA was engulfed by a series of
Its members include former international players Cafu and Edwin van
der Sar, AS Roma chief executive Umberto Gandini, Bundesliga CEO
Christian Seifert and Philippe Piat, head of the world players'
The committee's role includes advising the FIFA Council on "all
matters relating to football, particularly the structure of the
game, as well as on all technical matters."
[to top of second column]
Victor Montagliani, President of the Confederation of North, Central
America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) speaks to the
media after a FIFA Council in Zurich, Switzerland, January 10, 2017.
Relations between FIFPro and the clubs have sometimes
been tense, with the union regularly complaining of clubs who do not
respect players' contracts.
In 2015, FIFPro made a legal complaint at the European Commission
against the transfer system which is said was fundamentally flawed.
However, Montagliani said there was a positive mood at the meeting.
"Everybody understands that if people are coming to the committee
with a zero sum game mentality, nobody is going to win," he said.
"The game needs to be better so if the game gets better, everyone
"I thought it was very good, very positive and the right attitude
(Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar)
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