Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea have warned by that they have to release players for FIFA’s centenary match even if they reach the FA Cup final in May.
UEFA’s chief executive Lars Christer Olsson and executive committee member Michel Platini backed FIFA and comments made by Jerome Champagne, FIFA’s deputy general secretary.
“All the details for the centenary match were arranged in 2000… We expect the players to turn up, Champagne said on Wednesday.
‘There is no argument about it.”
The potential problem arises because the FIFA centenary match between Brazil and France is scheduled for Paris on May 20 – two days before the FA Cup final in Cardiff.
If Arsenal, Manchester United or Chelsea reach the final their French or Brazilian players would be expected to play in both games.
However, Platini said he hoped a deal would be worked out and “commonsense” would prevail.
Among those who could beinvolved in the fixture are: Arsenal’s Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires and Gilberto Silva, Chelsea’s Claude Makelele and Mikael Silvestre and Kleberson of Manchester United.
“The date of this match in the international calendar has been in place since 2000 and they will have to abide by it – everyone else knows that,’ Platini told Reuters.
“But I am sure that if Arsenal or the other clubs reach the English Cup final that something can be sorted out.
“Someone like Thierry Henry can make an agreement with the French coach and play for half an hour or something. It is just commonsense.”
Olsson said the English FA were aware of the date and status of the game and therefore should have arranged the FA Cup Final for a different weekend.
“It has been agreed to by everyone and so it should be stuck to by them,” he said.
“Of course, the English clubs should release their players if they are selected.”