FIFA moves to abolish February, August exhibitions

FIFA wants to abolish international exhibition games in February

and August in a move that will appease European clubs.

FIFA has announced a proposed calendar from 2015-18, although no

specific dates were listed for such games.

The suggested calendar calls for national teams to play two

games each March, September, October and November, plus June in

odd-numbered years, and for the vast majority for European national

teams the matches will be qualifiers for the World Cup and the

European Championship.

Clubs are obliged to release their players for calendar matches.

They have lobbied FIFA to abolish the one-game only exhibition

dates.

FIFA’s executive committee must approve the calendar at a March

29-30 meeting.

If approved, North and Central America and the Caribbean might

have to consider changes in its qualifying format for the 2018

World Cup.

The six-nation final round takes 10 dates and needs an

additional two for a possible playoff between the fourth-place team

and a nation for another confederation. Under the calendar proposed

Monday, only 10 of the 12 necessary dates would be available.

”(We) Will have to review,” CONCACAF acting secretary general

Ted Howard said.

U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati and Chuck Blazer,

the FIFA executive committee member from the United States,

declined comment.