However, FIFA ignored those pleas and added two extra days for qualifiers in September and October. The clubs and their leagues were outraged, but they risk sanctions if they refuse to release their players.
That seems to be a risk the Premier League teams are willing to take.
“Premier League clubs have always supported their players’ desire to represent their country – this is a matter of pride for everyone involved,” Premier League chief Richard Masters said in a statement supporting the decision of the Premier League. club. However, clubs have reluctantly but rightly concluded that it would be completely unreasonable to release players under these new circumstances.
The Premier League’s concerns are also financial and competitive. FIFA’s ruling extending the international break will most likely leave clubs in Europe and elsewhere without hundreds of millions of dollars in talent for key early season matches, as the new dates – and player travel – would overlap with domestic schedules.
“As a governing body, FIFA should try to find the best solution for the entire football community,” the World Leagues Forum, an umbrella organization for about 40 top leagues, said in a statement against the decision to add days to the international break. . “Instead, FIFA has decided to impose the worst possible option, almost without notice. This is a clear governance problem that needs to be addressed.”
FIFA has rejected appeals from the clubs and leagues to find another solution, saying in a statement directly linked to the release of South American players that the schedule allows adequate rest.
“The addition of two days will allow adequate rest and preparation time between matches, reflecting the longer travel distances required both to and within South America, ensuring the well-being of players from the negative effects of this more intensive schedule, while also ensuring fair competition. as a faster return to their clubs from the players involved,” FIFA said.
FIFA made no immediate comment on the Premier League’s announcement that it would not release any players.