Clubs against 'nonsense' August internationals

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The Independent Football

Europe's top clubs have called on FIFA to scrap "nonsense" friendly internationals.

The European Clubs' Association (ECA), which represents 200 of the leading clubs on the continent, are demanding talks with the world governing body.

Last month, coaches from across Europe, most vociferously Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp, were furious at losing their players for a programme of friendlies just as they were preparing for the new domestic season.

ECA chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge branded the August international date "a nonsense".

Rummenigge said: "We will intervene more and more in the international match calendar.

"Some countries are already playing their third series of internationals since the World Cup. We need deep discussions to find a solution.

"Federations like FIFA need to recognise that the players are our employees and we have to be involved in these kinds of discussions.

"The August friendly date was a nonsense. We have to make FIFA understand that certain things don't make sense. We have to discuss this with Mr [Sepp] Blatter and his colleagues in order to do something for the good of football.

"It is very dangerous to come back from a long tournament with only three weeks of holidays and with less than one week of preparation and then play a friendly for the national team. That kind of date has to be given up."

The ECA also want FIFA and UEFA to start paying insurance premiums to cover players injured while on i

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