The Working Group for Competitions of the FIFA Task Force 'For the Good of the Game' met at FIFA headquarters in Zurich today under the chairmanship of Joan Laporta (president of FC Barcelona). During the meeting, which was opened by a statement from the FIFA President, subjects such as the international match calendar, refereeing and the relationship between football at national team level and club level were discussed.
Regarding the international match calendar, the participants specifically addressed the format of the preliminary competitions for national team tournaments, as well as the number of matches in national competitions (leagues and cups) and the choice of dates for back-to-back international matches, where it was proposed to have those matches on Saturdays and Tuesdays (currently Saturdays and Wednesdays).
On refereeing, the working group stressed the need to provide referees with the means to progress in all areas, from the physical condition to the technical level, by moving towards the professionalisation of refereeing.
Finally, in terms of the relationship between member associations and clubs, a proposal was made to establish a clear protocol in the release of players from clubs to national teams. In addition, the matter of creating player insurance for international call-ups was analysed, focusing on the work of the Players' Status Committee on this subject.
The Working Group for Competitions, composed of representatives from the confederations, member associations, leagues, clubs and players, will convene for its next session at the beginning of next year, when it will establish concrete proposals on the subjects discussed in order to present them for analysis and a vote at the FIFA Congress in May 2007.