International Match Calendar as of 2024

The Future of Football

The International Match Calendar (IMC) sets the dates of national teams matches and the days in which the players must be released by their clubs to join international squads. It therefore has a central role in the sustainable growth of football in all regions of the world and at all levels.

There is an agreement in place on the IMC until 2024. As of then, nothing is decided, and FIFA is hearing - and will hear over the course of the next months - views and opinions from all the key stakeholders, including fans, about how to make the calendar better for each IMC men’s, women’s, and youth competitions.

FIFA´s Chief of Global Football Development, Arsène Wenger, is leading a process which includes an analysis of football development around the world in view of giving every potential talent on the planet a better chance to emerge.

For women’s football, two-times FIFA Women’s World Cup winner, Jill Ellis, will spearhead the consultation and studies.

On the IMC, several current issues have to be looked into, namely the progressive competitive imbalance, the absence of a mandatory rest period for players, the excessive number of travels and matches endangering player health and well-being and  the constant interruption of domestic leagues disrupting club competitions.

The frequency of men’s, women’s and youth national team competitions will also deserve attention particularly after, in May 2021, 166 FIFA member associations gathered at the FIFA Congress and voted in favour to examine the feasibility of a men’s and women’s World Cup every two years.

Throughout the analysis and discussions, sporting elements will be the first and foremost priorities.

The long-term goal is to have 50 national teams and 50 clubs competing at the highest level of both the men’s and women’s game, in line with the FIFA President’s Vision (2020-2023).

Future of Football - Explained

More on Future of Football

FIFA seeks fan feedback for the International Match Calendar

FIFA is consulting with all stakeholders regarding the evolution of the international match calendars for women’s and men’s football which expire in 2023 and 2024 respectively

Majority of fans favour more frequent men’s FIFA World Cups – global survey

A survey has provided feedback as part of the feasibility study regarding the frequency of the men’s FIFA World Cup. The findings of this initial online survey, conducted in July 2021, will be used as part of a wider consultation process involving fans.

The consultation process

There are no predetermined objectives in the Future of Football process. Instead, FIFA is honouring its pledge to be a forum for meaningful debate by engaging a wide range of stakeholders in open dialogue before proposing solutions or making decisions...

Reviewing international match calendars

The balance between global, continental and national competition will be considered, all feeding into a transversal approach with youth, women’s and men’s international calendars all under review.

Protecting player health and well-being

Of primary importance in football’s present and future is the protection of player health and well-being. The suggestion for an overhaul of the calendar could include mandatory rest and preparation periods with fewer matches, fewer travels and less time.

Feasibility studies

Supporting material for Future of Football consultation process