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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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EPFL issues FIFA warning

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) has reprimanded FIFA for increasing the volume of internationals, and there is a clear threat that the clubs and the leagues will take on Sepp Blatter's organisation in a bid to reduce 'meaningless' friendlies.

Football Reform Act on the horizon

In an open declaration of resistance, the EPFL declared that, while its members prepared to work with FIFA, the group will block any moves to reduce the number of club games, by cutting the number of teams in each league, in order to bring in yet more international tournaments.

The EPFL meet in Madrid this week and attacked FIFA's policy of increasing internationals - such as those that took place this week - which they say has become a "burden" on the clubs.

A statement read: "Whilst the EPFL welcomes the assurances publicly given by FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter earlier this week that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be held in summer as it has since 1930, the Association cannot avoid expressing its dissatisfaction with the way such a significant matter was dealt with and FIFA's decision back in June 2010 to overburden the international calendar, which represents an increase of more than 20% (from 38 to 46).

"This was another unilateral decision which causes major problems to leagues and clubs, taken without any prior explanation and consultation with those who it affects and accordingly would have a legitimate interest in having a say in the matter, such as our member leagues and clubs.

"The EPFL therefore invites FIFA to reconsider its decision-making process and enhance participative democracy.

"They will not tolerate any decision being taken regarding the international match calendar without their previous consultation and agreement and will oppose any interference on matter of their exclusive competence such as the size of national leagues."

Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, the chief executive of the EPFL, told ESPNsoccernet that high on the agenda of the European Professional Football League is the determination to control FIFA on the "international coordinated match calendar".

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