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 match calendars all under review.

The competitive imbalance between continents is increasingly visible. There has been an increase of competitions and matches with no real meaning and interest for fans, whilst a misalignment of the calendar in different parts of the world has created clashes and friction. 

FIFA’s objective in this review process is to make a football calendar that is “fit-for-purpose” for modern needs, contributing for the improvement of the quality of players, clubs and national teams and giving both incentive and opportunity for the detection and development of talent outside a small number of countries.

Some of the possible advantages of changing the International Match Calendar (IMC):

  • Condensed and longer international windows would enable leagues to be played without interruption for long periods.

  • National team coaches would have more time to work with players.

  • Reforming the IMC could contribute help less developed countries to increase their competitiveness by playing more frequently at a high level.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the weaknesses in the iIMC with frequent adaptations and improvised solutions required, sometimes without obtaining a consensual decision.

  • The current IMC leads to an excessive number of travels between and within continents with a clear negative impact for the player’s health and the environment.

  • A streamlined approach to the IMC would mean that fans will have more clarity on the objective and the meaning of the matches taking place.

  • Specifically on Women’s football the change of the IMC could lead to a stronger boost in the visibility and appeal of the game reinforced by a coordinated and aligned model with the men’s Calendar, keeping in the specificities and differences of Women’s Football in relation to the men’s game.

  • Changes in the youth Calendar and age groups would have a positive effect on the development and the competitive balance of youth National Teams of all the continents