Fergie not friendly with FA over Doha tie
Sir Alex Ferguson has publicly lamented the scheduling of England's friendly against Brazil in Doha, Qatar, which Ferguson called "some unknown country", and claimed officials arrange friendlies to have a "nice trip on a sunny day".
Ferguson has been in hot water with the Football Association already this season after his criticism of referee Alan Wiley's fitness after his side's 2-2 draw with Sunderland. Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has had to deny reports he said the FA gave preferential treatment to the outspoken Manchester United man, while Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez last season launched a rant at Ferguson's constant complaints about things such as match officials and timing of fixtures.
Ferguson's latest outburst is unlikely to please the FA, while Uniteds many fans in the Middle East could be left disillusioned by the dismissive comments about Qatar.
Fabio Capello's England team, including Red Devils Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Rio Ferdinand, will embark on a 6,500-mile round journey for the World Cup tune-up on a date that falls six days after United's trip to Chelsea and a week before the visit of Everton to Old Trafford.
While Ferguson did not specifically mention the Qatar trip he lamented "the intrusion of a friendly game in some unknown country'' in the midst of the club season. "You want them [the players] to play in the important international games, it's important to them and I want them to play,'' Ferguson said. "It's the friendly matches that are the problem.
"It's a coach's nightmare, especially if you are in the middle of a European campaign and going for cups and titles. You have all these fixtures and you have the intrusion of a friendly game in some unknown country, so that is a definite thorn in everyone's flesh.''
Ferguson conceded that such matches were important for national teams with next summer's World Cup in South Africa looming large, but he believes some national team managers would prefer not to play some friendlies.
"All international managers have their jobs to do and we support that, particularly when it comes to the issues of competitive games, ie the European Championships or the World Cup,'' Ferguson said.
"It's very important that these players play for their countries. But friendly games are a different matter. I don't think that anyone agrees with them if you're a football coach, a league coach, whereas international managers have a situation that they find themselves in.
Ferguson went on to suggest that even some international managers are against the concept of friendlies, while questioning the motivations of FAs to arrange friendly matches.
"I think that some of them actually could do without the friendly games themselves, but the FAs from every country warn them that sometimes it's a nice day for them, a nice trip for them, a sunny day, and in some cases it creates good revenue for them. So you can understand it.''