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FIFA International Match Calendar

The FIFA International Match Calendar (sometimes abbreviated as the FIFA Calendar) is an outline agreement between FIFA, the six continental football confederations, European Club Association and FIFPro.[1]

The match calendar sets out which dates can be used for 'Official matches' and 'Friendly matches'. The current dates are five: late March, early June, early September, early October and early November. It also determines when international competitions such the AFC Asian Cup, Copa América, CONCACAF Gold Cup, UEFA European Championship, FIFA Confederations Cup and the FIFA World Cup can take place. The OFC Nations Cup is not listed on the international match calendar.

Official matches have a release period of 4 days, which means that players can take up to 4 days away from club duties to partake in national team duties. If a player participates in an official match on another continent than his club's, the release period is 5 days. Friendly matches are deemed less important and the release period is 48 hours.[2]

FIFA insist that official and friendly matches should take precedent over domestic matches, however they state that international friendlies that take place outside of the designated dates do not.[2]

European Club Association dispute

The European Club Association, a union for the elite European football clubs are unhappy with the lack of compensation given to the clubs by the international associations.

At the 2010 FIFA World Cup, £40million was paid to clubs as compensation. An article from Daily Telegraph in February 2012 suggested that the European Club Association want a figure six times as much. The European Clubs have spoken of not agreeing to the 2014 onwards agreement of the FIFA calendar until the issue is resolved.

The ECA President, German Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said "Unfortunately, discussions with the FIFA president have failed to lead to a satisfactory outcome which takes account of the clubs' demands."[3]

In March 2012, FIFA released a press release showing that Rummennigge had been invited to a summit but failed to attend.[4]