International Breaks: What Purpose Do They Serve?

Torres in action for Spain: Does regular international football serve a purpose? 

The weekend has been an agonizing one for football fans in general. Due to the international break, there has been practically no club football to watch!

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s important for players to play international football. The honour of representing your country is something money can’t buy. Also, it’s necessary for players to play for their country as they need to form an understanding with their international team-mates for tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup. But the no. of international matches being played is silly to say the least.

Before the season began, there were a round of international matches that were played. If you ask me, it was the perfect example of getting one’s timing absolutely wrong. Why schedule international matches just a few days before the season begins? What if someone got injured? No club wants key players injured just before the start of the season. There were no serious injuries to anyone (thank goodness) but the possibility of players picking up injuries always exists.

With the first round of international matches finished, leagues all around Europe were finally underway & the excitement was obvious. Fans were finally getting to watch their teams back in action. Whether their team won or lost was irrelevant. Football was back & that was all that mattered. But another international break has seen that enthusiasm come to a halt.

Most football fans prefer watching club football to international football. Most fans support their clubs far more passionately than they support their national teams. These may seem like bold statements, but they are true. And a majority of football fans don’t like the international breaks. At all.

Mind you, it’s not just the fans who despise international breaks. Many managers have been extremely vocal in questioning the need to constantly schedule international matches in the middle of the season. Recently, Sunderland manager Martin O’Niell said, “I would prefer that nobody played during that break, but I am well aware that international football is predominantly very, very strong now. It takes precedence over almost everything at the moment. As a club manager, all you do is just worry for about a fortnight until the players come back.” Despite Martin choosing his words quite carefully, it’s pretty clear he’s no fan of the international break. Many fans would probably be happy if international breaks are done away with altogether!

Jokes apart, regular international football serves no real purpose & the regularity of these matches needs to be curbed. While I’ve stated how important it is to play international matches, the no. of unwanted international friendlies needs to be stopped as they only add to the already hectic schedule that footballers are subjected to. While it is important that FIFA promotes both international & club football, they need to take into account the needs & wants of both the players & the fans. And a schedule which includes less international football works best for all involved.

#ShayneCFC

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2 Comments
  1. Punya says

    Sorry, but those who say they support their clubs more than their countries clearly don't live in a country that may win a major competition. It may be a boring time for Asian or American people given we know exactly who's going to qualify from those continents. However, Europeans have something to look forward to. We want our countries to qualify and maybe compete to win the World Cup. Friendlies let young guys prove themselves for the competitive fixtures, and basically, nobody is forced to do anything. Let the international games come!

  2. Punya says

    Sorry, but those who say they support their clubs more than their countries clearly don't live in a country that may win a major competition. It may be a boring time for Asian or American people given we know exactly who's going to qualify from those continents. However, Europeans have something to look forward to. We want our countries to qualify and maybe compete to win the World Cup. Friendlies let young guys prove themselves for the competitive fixtures, and basically, nobody is forced to do anything. Let the international games come!

Comments are closed.