England Needs to Remember How to Love International Football

By
at Internationaled.org

Published: October 12, 2016

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A visitor from another galaxy could be easily forgiven for thinking that football in its usual form shuts down entirely during the season’s intermittent international windows. It is replaced by some abridged, mutant version of the game so abrasive to our senses that it soils the very memories of the other 35 or so weeks of the year.

This would at least go some way towards explaining the waves of exhaustion and apathy that blow in off of Twitter feeds whenever club football is put on hold for sometimes as much as 13 whole days to dally in a variant of the game that outdates even the 128 year-old Football League by some 16 years.

We feel starved of the excess that has become the norm across two decades of growth in coverage, our Premier League shifted a little from the dead centre of the football universe.

A tag-team of UEFA departments took the decision two years ago to remodel the way these international windows work, partly in response to an anticipated ennui from the established football nations as a bloated European Championship finals quota threatened to turn the routine process of qualifying into an altogether more routine process of qualifying. 

UEFA said on its website in September 2014:

For the first time qualifying takes place under the new 'Week of Football' concept, in which games are spread out from Thursday to Tuesday, shining the spotlight on more teams on the road to the finals in France.

Moreover, thanks to the Week of Football idea, at least 33 per cent of games will be played on weekends, giving fans a better chance to follow the action on television, in the stadiums and on UEFA.com. In UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying, only 26 matches out of 245 were held on Saturdays or Sundays.

After all, who wants to get the train up to Old Trafford on a Saturday when the alternative is to draw the curtains and hunker down in front of UEFA.com without even h...
Article Source: Bleacher Report - International Football

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