The chairman of the European Club Association, Karl Heinz Rummenigge, in an interview this week with German sports weekly Kicker said that FIFA should consider of scrapping the August FIFA international match date especially after World Cup's and European Championships to help the clubs in their pre-season training.
Rummenigge said in the interview, "We must have two months without internationals after Euro tournaments and World Cups so that the clubs can work properly."
The ECA and FIFA have been working together to improve the calendar and general scheduling of matches in the common interest of clubs and international football. One of the first results is the switch of qualifier dates from a Saturday/Wednesday format to a Friday/Tuesday format to allow players from around the world to come back to their respective clubs a day earlier. In the past especially South American players often returned just a day before their next club matches on Fridays/Saturdays.
Now the ECA hopes that FIFA considers the issue of pre-season training of clubs and their problems especially after big tournaments to bring in their international players, who go late into their holidays which means that players also join late for pre-season training. The cancellation of the August match date would help the clubs and their coaches with the build-up to the seasons ahead.
The other issue which interests Rummenigge not only as the ECA chairman but also as the chairman of Bayern Munich is the insurance of players on international duty for their respective national teams. This could help resolve problems with injuries sustained by players on international duty. Bayern currently are unhappy about the long injury lay-off of Dutch international Arjen Robben, who came back injured to Bayern from the World Cup and the Dutch are not forced by FIFA regulations to compensate the club for such an instance.