Ferguson: Reduce international games

Sir Alex Ferguson has backed the call for a reduction in the number of internationals.

Football News: Sir Alex Ferguson

The European Clubs' Association has called for the number of internationals to be slashed from its present 11 to around six.

They cite meaningless friendly fixtures as evidence of a glut of games and believe the entire structure needs to be altered to ensure the clubs get greater benefit from their production of players.

It is not a view that will get any argument from Ferguson.

However, the Manchester United boss feels the problem goes far deeper.

Although he has never been greatly affected by the African Nations Cup, he is aware the problems some clubs have with players disappearing for a month in mid-season.

And, although the Copa America does not cause similar intrusion, Ferguson points to the disruptive effect it has on pre-season work as evidence that needs changing as well.

"In terms of the number of games, we have always said there were too many internationals," said Ferguson.

"For a club side, definitely, we have all complained about that.

"But there is not just the issue of internationals, there is also the calendar. There is also a conflict of interest there.

"You have the African Nations Cup and the Copa America. That has always been a particular problem.

"Some clubs lose three or four players for five weeks in January.

"And with the Copa America played in the summer, when those players come back to you they have missed a bit in terms of doing the pre-season work.

"It is a lot more difficult to handle. You have to gauge how many games they have had and the kind of temperatures they were playing in before you know when you can give them a rest."



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