FIFA president Sepp Blatter has slammed England’s decision to field two separate teams for last month’s friendly match against Australia, warning that it will not be allowed to happen again.
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson changed his entire team at half-time during the 3-1 defeat at Upton Park on February 12. Eriksson’s decision to adopt the novel selection policy was widely perceived as an attempt to placate those Premier League managers angry at the loss of players for a meaningless mid-season friendly.
“It will not be possible in future to play a friendly with one team for 45 minutes and one team for the other 45 minutes,”
Blatter said in a BBC television documentary on the club v country issue to be screened tonight.
“It is a matter I will bring to the attention of the International Board now. It’s a farce. It is not correct.
“It is not correct for the opponent. It is definitely not correct for the public.
“The (English) FA should not organise such a match and we will intervene here.
“What we have to do is to find a solution where the interests of the national team are respecting the interests of the clubs, but also the clubs shall respect the interest and aspirations of national teams.”
In friendly games, the two coaches are allowed to agree on the number of substitutions but Blatter has promised to limit the number of changes to five per team.