FIFA International Match Calendar
|Dates||Matches or tournaments|
|10 July – 1 August||2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup|
|30 August – 7 September||2 (AFC, CAF, OFC)|
|30 August – 8 September||3 (CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, UEFA)|
|4–12 October||2 (AFC, CAF, OFC, UEFA)|
|4–13 October||3 (CONCACAF, CONMEBOL)|
The FIFA International match Calendar (sometimes abbreviated as the FIFA Calendar) is an outline agreement between FIFA, the six continental football confederations, European Club Association, and FIFPro.
The match calendar sets out which dates can be used for "official matches" and "friendly matches". The current dates are within five windows: early spring (March), late spring (May or June), late summer (August or September), autumn (October and November). The match calendar also determines when international competitions such as the AFC Asian Cup, Africa Cup of Nations, Copa América, CONCACAF Gold Cup, OFC Nations Cup, UEFA European Championship, and FIFA World Cup can take place.
Official matches have a release period of four days, which means that players can take up to four days away from club duties to partake in national team duties. If a player participates in an official match on a different continent from his club's, the release period is five days. Friendly matches are deemed less important and the release period is 48 hours.
FIFA insist that official and friendly matches take precedence over domestic matches. However, they state that international friendlies that take place outside the designated dates do not.
European Club Association dispute
The European Club Association, a union for the elite European football clubs, are unhappy with the lack of compensation given to the clubs by the international associations.
At the 2010 FIFA World Cup, £40 million was paid to clubs as compensation. An article from The Daily Telegraph in February 2012 suggested that the European Club Association want a figure six times as much. The European Clubs have spoken of not agreeing to the 2014-and-onwards agreement of the FIFA calendar until the issue is resolved.
The ECA president, German Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, said, "Unfortunately, discussions with the FIFA president have failed to lead to a satisfactory outcome which takes account of the clubs' demands." In March 2012, FIFA released a press release showing that Rummennigge had been invited to a summit but failed to attend.
Women's International Match Calendar
FIFA also has a women's international match calendar to dictate when women's international matches should be played. It contains 6 yearly windows, unlike the men's calendar which only has 5. They are currently set for late winter (February or March), mid spring (April), mid summer (June or July), late summer (September), and autumn (October and November).
|Dates||Number of Matches|
|June||3 (2 for UEFA)|
- "FIFA Council unanimously approves COVID-19 Relief Plan - FIFA.com". FIFA.com. 25 June 2020. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
- "South American FIFA World Cup qualifiers to begin in October - FIFA.com". FIFA.com. 10 July 2020. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
- "Further changes to the international match calendars due to the COVID-19 pandemic unanimously approved by the Bureau of the Council". FIFA.com. 18 August 2020. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- "FIFA Council passes landmark reforms for female players and coaches, agrees further steps in COVID-19 response - FIFA.com". www.fifa.com. 4 December 2020. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
- Fatma Samoura (5 February 2021). "Circular no. 1749: COVID-19 and the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players" (PDF). www.resources.fifa.com. Zurich, Switzerland: FIFA. p. 6. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
- "International match calendar – major step made towards final agreement". FIFA.com. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- "Release of players for national association representative matches in accordance with the Coordinated International Match Calendar" (PDF). FIFA.com. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- Scott, Matt (28 February 2012). "Open warfare between Fifa and the European Clubs Association threatens to overshadow 2018 World Cup". Telegraph. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- Scott, Matt (5 March 2012). "Fifa hits back after clubs' chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge snubs key meeting". Telegraph. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- "Women's International Match Calendar 2022-2023" (PDF). FIFA. 28 October 2020.