Club vs country tension looms ahead of Women’s World Cup

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Ahead of the Women’s World Cup in July, club vs. country tensions surfaced Wednesday when national teams were urged not to summon players for training camps until the FIFA-mandated release date.

The European Club Association cites its members’ concern about “the current widespread practice” by national federations to call up players early in breach of mandatory rest periods.

FIFA rules require players in the 32 Women’s World Cup squads to report to national teams on July 10, which is 10 days before the start of the month-long tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

That deadline for clubs to release their players is more than five weeks after the UEFA Women’s Champions League final on June 3 that caps the European season.

The ECA warning follows one year after some national teams opened camps in May for a July 6 start in the 2022 European Championship, including by eventual winner England.

ECA head of women’s football Claire Bloomfield said the issue was “a serious concern for player welfare.”

“The issue of early call-ups is a hangover from the game in its amateur form and is detrimental to the future success and growth of women’s football,” she said.

Bloomfield said clubs want “constructive and direct communication” soon with stakeholders including federations.

The defending World Cup champion United States is likely to select an almost entirely home-based squad.


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