Brazil revamps domestic calendar to avoid club vs country row

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October 4 – In a bid to end longstanding disputes and conflicts between club and country, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has released a 2020 domestic calendar which prevents domestic fixtures from clashing with FIFA dates. That provision will not apply to the 2020 Copa America.

Brazil’s ruling body was heavily criticised when national team coach Tite selected seven-home based players for the Brazil’s October friendlies with Senegal and Nigeria, games that coincide with two match days of the Brazilian national championship. The domestic league is now entering the business of end of the season with Rio giants Flamengo top of the table.

But the CBF had already anticipated that the tension between clubs and the national team would reach a new boiling point and on Thursday announced changes to the 2020 calendar: domestic top flight fixtures won’t clash with Brazil’s commitments on FIFA dates with the notable exception of the 2020 Copa America which will be co-hosted by Argentina and Colombia. This summer Brazil staged the continental tournament and the Brazilian top division was halted for the duration of the competition.

“We are committed to improving the Brazilian football calendar more and more and are doing so in dialogue and with firm goals,” said CBF president Rogerio Caboclo in a statement. “With that, everyone wins: clubs, federations and the Brazilian national team.”

In other changes, the state championships, which precede the national championship and have been criticised for holding back the development and modernisation of the Brazilian game, will have a reduced format with 16 instead of 18 match days, running from January 22 to April 26. A fortnight later, the top flight will kick off with its final round of matches slated for December 6.

“With the understanding of the State Federations and flexibility on the part of Conmebol, we have reduced the number of dates used by state championships, the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sul-Americana, making room for FIFA fates to have no conflict with national competitions,” explained CBF director of competitions Manoel Flores.

The Brazilian Super Cup will be the season’s curtain raiser. The fixture had a brief life in the early 90’s, but will now be reintroduced.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1571777810labto1571777810ofdlr1571777810owedi1571777810sni@o1571777810fni1571777810