Eriksson reasserts selection rights

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The Independent Online

The football association has announced a series of measures aimed at restoring peace in the club-versus-country dispute.

The football association has announced a series of measures aimed at restoring peace in the club-versus-country dispute.

The FA's initiative follows a series of meetings between the England manager, Sven Goran Eriksson, and leading Premiership managers. Eriksson re-established his right to choose any player he wants, whether it is a competitive or friendly fixture, and play them for however long he wants.

However, the England manager did commit himself to responding to club managers' concerns, especially towards the end of the season. In a statement, the FA said the meetings had been "highly successful" and involved "a frank exchange of views on how best to work more closely together in the interests of English football".

Eriksson repeated his belief that he will need a minimum of four weeks' preparation before major tournaments. The managers also urged the FA to try to play more internationals on Tuesday nights rather than Wednesdays to give players more time to prepare for club games.

The statement added that: "The managers understood the frustration of the FA that recent initiatives to help clubs, such as the non-use of several friendly dates in 2002-03, could have been perceived as harming the national team when other national teams continued to play.

"They also recognised the problems that had arisen with restricting players to 45-minute appearances."

Key points of the FA's peace deal with premiership managers

* The right of Eriksson to choose the players he wants, to play them when he wants and for how long he wants. Eriksson commited to continuing to work with managers, to recognise and respond to their concerns, especially in latter part of season.

* April international dates to be removed after 2004.

* England's need to play friendlies during and outside the domestic season. In doing so, they will be supported by club managers.

* FA recognises the preference of managers that friendlies during the season are played at home in normal circumstances.

* FA agrees to urgently consider proposal to return players on international duty back to their club 24 hours earlier than at present.

* Eriksson and managers agree on value of "get-togethers" in selected international weeks.

* Whatever their own nationality, managers recognise and support FA's aim of winning a major tournament by 2006 in the interests of English football as a whole.

* The club managers, the FA, the Premier League and the League Managers' Association pledge to work together to recognise both each other's concerns, and the wider good of English game. Common interest of clubs and England team are far greater than any differences – success for both will benefit both.

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