UEFA president Lennart Johansson has confirmed European football’s opposition to the FIFA’s world club championship.
‘We have to fight that,’ Johansson said on the English Football Association’s website.
‘I hope we can reach an agreement with FIFA because the players and clubs need rest between matches and you also need dates for the international teams,’
‘I think the national teams are number one in football – then it is the leagues and the clubs. Every player in this country is extremely proud of putting on the England shirt. They dream about it as kids.’
Dsicussing the reduction in the number of games in next season’s Champions League, Johansson revealed that the decision was taken after consultation with the clubs and players.
‘We did it after listening to the players’ union, to the clubs and to the doctors,’ the UEFA chief said.
‘They said there were too many matches and we had to limit the number of games the top players were involved in.
‘Of course, at that time we didn’t know that FIFA were planning to re-introduce a confederations cup for clubs.’
UEFA voiced their opposition to the world club championship at their executive committee meeting three weeks ago. The inaugural tournament was played inBrazil in 2001 and FIFA plans to hold the next competition in 2005.