Franz Beckenbauer believes there are some merits in the Premier League’s proposal for an ‘international round’ – but has warned that it would be unwise to go against FIFA’s wishes.
Beckenbauer, a World Cup winner for Germany as a player and a coach, and also a FIFA executive committee member, said England’s bid for the 2018 World Cup stood no chance if they went against FIFA on this issue.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has already expressed his opposition to the Premier League’s plan for each club to hold a 39th game in a foreign city.
Beckenbauer, speaking in St Petersburg at the Laureus sports awards, said: “If FIFA is against this idea to put Premier League games outside the country, I wouldn’t do it.
“The decision on who gets the World Cup 2018 will happen very soon and England are one of the favourites. At this time I wouldn’t be so cocky to go against FIFA.
“In this period if you want to be the World Cup host you have to get hand-in-hand with FIFA – otherwise you don’t get the chance.’
Beckenbauer believes however it is a good idea to export football – and even suggested playing the FA Cup final in China.
He added: “It’s a good idea that with important games such as the FA Cup final, instead of playing at Wembley play it in Beijing or in Shanghai or wherever.
“I think it’s a good idea from the clubs. I realise the comment of the FIFA president – he doesn’t like it so much.
“He realises these games disturb the market but it is great promotion for important games in the Premier League being played outside the country.
“The idea is not bad. But I don’t know if it works. Manchester United and Arsenal have a lot of fans but how do they get to Sydney?
“It’s a good idea to export your football but practically I don’t know.”