Coaches attending UEFA’s elite coaching forum in Nyon have called for a number of changes to the way the game is run, both on and off the pitch.
Growing concerns about the burdens being placed on overworked players, have led to coaches drawing up a series of proposals aimed at simplifying the football calendar and reducing the nnumber of matches played by leading clubs.
Among the proposals include the recommendation that the FIFA World Club Championship as well as the Confederations Cup be scrapped. The forum also called for an increase in the number of substitutes permitted from three to four along with an increase in the number of players on the bench to twenty.
The coaches also requested that the international football calendar be revised and recommended greater transparency in testing for drug use.
Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier highlighted the number of international friendly matches being played at the moment.
“Some clubs deplore the fact that there are too many friendlies and some players don’t enjoy them any more,” he said.
“It’s very difficult for a player to get the right motivation to go into a friendly when he has a very important Premier League game.”
Houllier also questioned the wisdom of playing the World Club Championship.
“The best players are playing in Europe, whether they come from South America, Africa or Asia, so there’s no need for an international club competition,’ he added. ‘The Champions League stands in for it.’.
Bayern Munich boss Ottmar Hitzfeld was keen to seee an increase in the number of substitutes permitted.
“The game is getting faster and faster all the time,” Hitzfeld staed.
“The tempo in the games at the very top level is so fast now that it is time to think of having a fourth substitute. If not during the game, then maybe in extra-time.”
“It would be good for tactics and it would be good for the players. It would be good for the game.”