Clubs delighted by move to ditch August friendlies


Europe's leading clubs praised a "major breakthrough" yesterday after agreeing with Uefa to drop the unpopular August international friendlies date.

The European Clubs Association chairman, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, in an address to the ECA's general assembly in Warsaw, revealed that the agreement had been reached after prolonged negotiations but warned that world body Fifa have yet to sanction it and the situation on that front remained unsatisfactory.

Further changes mean that the international calendar will be made up of nine double-headers over a two-year period with no single friendlies.

In a new Memorandum of Understanding between Uefa and the clubs, they also agreed the two matches of the double-date for friendlies should be played on the same continent.

In future the final tournaments of all confederations shall end by mid-July, and players would not be expected to play in more than one international tournament a year.

The ECA, comprising Europe's top 201 clubs, also reached agreement over insurance payments for players injured while on international duty starting at Euro 2012.