FIFA President Sepp Blatter has called for a reduction in teams in the Premier League, suggesting that the domestic calendar is too long.
Blatter believes that many domestic leagues last too long and have too many teams in them.
Blatter specifically criticized twenty-team leagues, putting himself on a collision course with many top European leagues, such as those in England, Spain, Italy and France, all of which contain twenty teams.
Speaking to FIFA’s official website FIFA.com, Blatter claimed the support of UEFA President Michel Platini.
“In my view, and this is something on which Michel Platini agrees, domestic championships are too long because there are too many teams and too many matches. Teams in leagues with 20 clubs play 38 games, on top of which they also have national cup competitions and league cups, etc.”
Blatter also went on to question managers who blame the international fixtures for their players becoming tired or injured.
“This also creates a conflict of interest between national teams and clubs, some of whom complain that their players come back tired or injured. That’s not the fault of the international calendar, however, and it’s a subject that ought to be discussed.”
This is not the first time Blatter has called for a reduction of the number of teams in the top leagues in Europe. Speaking in 2006, Blatter claimed that the move would take place within a year, and it would provide more time for international fixtures.
“We will do it [bring in 18-club top leagues]. I think the clubs will be happy and it will give four more days to the international calendar in those countries where they have 20 clubs.”
Unfortunately for the FIFA president, his plans did not come to fruition in 2006, but he has made it one of his big footballing issues for 2011.