FA seeks to avert row over Italy friendly

 

The Football Association has told Premier League clubs that England players selected for next Wednesday's friendly in Switzerland will be back at their clubs in time for training the following morning, in anticipation of the inevitable criticism at the game's timing.

Roy Hodgson's team will face Italy in Berne three days before the league season starts, in a friendly that has been scheduled by Fifa and is beyond the control of the English governing body.

There was no option to play at Wembley, which is an Olympic venue and is subject to certain International Olympic Committee rules. When the FA was organising this friendly, Wembley was restricted by a two-week grace period after the proposed end of the Olympics during which venues cannot be used for other purposes.

The game has been organised by Kentaro, the sports rights company who handle Italy's fixtures. The FA would only agree to playing in Berne on the condition that the city's airport stays open to handle the squad's flight back to London in the early hours of Thursday.

The FA is prepared for criticism from managers for taking players away at this time and Hodgson is expected to field a young team with some senior men rested in the interests of good relations with clubs. John Terry, currently on an FA charge of racial abuse, is available for selection if Hodgson chooses.

An FA spokesman said yesterday: "There are more than 40 games taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday next week and nearly all our group opponents [in qualification for the 2014 World Cup finals] will be playing friendly matches. The international date is set by Fifa. It will not be just English players who will be playing, the same goes for French, German and Dutch Premier League players."

There is no Under-21s game scheduled for next week, so the Team GB player Jack Butland is likely to be with the senior team.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat