The season has just begun and we already have a huge mess to face between the different organizations that run football due to an unilateral decision by the most important organism, FIFA, that attacks both the integrity of club competitions and the health of the main actors of the game, the players.
We are talking about the extension for the international break at the CONMEBOL, as this confederation has taken up to two extra days on their schedule to play the same three games that have been held in both Europe and the CONCACAF. As a result, the first case ended their break on the early morning of Friday and the rest on Wednesday night.
A ridiculous decision by FIFA that was announced on August 13th and that changes the season schedule that had already been approved by LaLiga and the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) on June 27th, which creates a new conflict between two institutions that can´t stand each other.
President of LaLiga Javier Tebas and President of the RFEF Luis Rubiales had to make a decision after the TAS rejected the request from LaLiga to disallow their players to travel to the CONMEBOL games so the weekend fixtures could take place without many of them struggling to make it on time. They were unable to reach an agreement, as it was expected.
The Competition Commission then rejected as well a new request by LaLiga to postpone the Sevilla vs Barça and Villarreal vs Alavés matches, as Sevilla and Villarreal asked due to the fact that they would not be able to count on key players that were on duty with their national teams.
In the end, the Sports Ministry (CSD), which are the usual mediators between LaLiga and the Federation, accepted to postpone those two games in order to protect the players´ health. The Competition Commission did not think that a couple teams missing some of their players was a big issue.
The reality is that neither LaLiga or the Federation should be blamed for the FIFA´s decision to extend the international break on South America with the same games to be played as in the rest of the continents. A discussion could be made on the following determination to postpone two games of LaLiga, but that is not the point here.
The serious issue is that FIFA act with total impunity to extend international breaks that affect both the players´ health and the integrity of clubs competitions, which are actually the ones that pay the salaries and then the party of a break that gets extended so more revenue can be made from TV rights.
Furthermore, the most important game between Brazil and Argentina couldn’t even be played due to a lack of agreement with the sanitary authorities. A waste of time and energy for the players and the clubs, and a huge disgrace for all the fans around the globe.
It looks like FIFA have taken advantage of this premeditated change on the schedule to propose a World Cup every two years so the qualifying games can all take place at once throughout an entire month. They pretend to sell us that that solution would decrease the amount of insignificant games and would protect the players’ rest.
Nothing far from reality, that nonsense idea would end with the value and magic of the both most important and awaited competition in the world and of course wouldn´t decrease the amount of games, but instead those played would earn an attractiveness that would be faded right away by taking place that frequently.
The only solution, even though it might affect their pockets, is to get rid of insignificant national teams games in an already too packed calendar by, for example, splitting up the group of ten teams in the CONMEBOL into two groups of five each and unifying the qualifying period all in the month of June the year before the tournament takes place.
Two LaLiga games will not be played in this fixture and the Premier League will not be able to use the players they disallowed to play with their national teams. Moreover, other teams like Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid will be the injured ones in the next break in October.
The decision to postpone two games this weekend will certainly be a precedent for the next occasion. Meanwhile, FIFA will keep exploding a circus where no one but them are taken into account.