Spreading out internationals makes sense
UEFA’s plan to spread out fixtures during international weeks makes perfect sense and should bring an end to those strange weekends during the season with no top class soccer, when I find myself watching rubbish old B-movies and darts.
The idea would see a national team play on Thursday for example and then Sunday, or Friday and Tuesday like now or Saturday and Tuesday.
The “week of football” as UEFA dubs it will also mean the big soccer fans can watch lots of live international football day after day rather than trying to catch the highlights of 20 games all played one one evening.
Clubs can’t moan either as they will still be getting their players back on a Wednesday before a club match as currently happens after the reasonably recent change to play second matches of international double headers on Tuesday.
The only downside to the plan I can see is that national coaches will get less preparation time following weekend club matches if their first game is on a Thursday.
UEFA also wants to harmonise kick off times for qualifiers which makes a lot of sense too.
Everyone knows that Champions League games in the club sphere start at 1845 GMT but looking at Friday’s Euro 2012 games, they start at 1600, 1700, 1715, 1800, 1900, 1915, 1930, 1945, 2000, 2030 and yes the obligatory Portugal at 2100 (when do they ever get to sleep?)
That programme is impossible to follow (as the UEFA Cup was a while back) but if they all kicked off at once, with a reduced fixture list anyway because the matches will spread across the week, no one can get confused.
I might be able to sneak in another B-movie though.
PHOTO: UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino REUTERS/Ruben Sprich