ZURICH - A later start to the next World
Cup to allow top players to have a longer rest after sapping
club seasons will be one of the key issues for a FIFA task force
looking at improving future tournaments, Reuters has learnt.
Starting the 2014 finals in Brazil in July rather than
mid-June would allow players to be fresher for the tournament, a
senior source at world football's governing body said.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has already announced plans for
his task force to look at ways of making the tournament more
Blatter's decision came after several high-profile players,
including Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba,
produced mediocre performances at the World Cup in South Africa
FIFA was also disappointed by the cagey tactics by teams in
the first round of matches which made for several dull games.
Blatter said he wanted solutions to be introduced in time
for the next World Cup in Brazil.
FIFA had already introduced a cut off date for leagues to
end their seasons earlier in a World Cup year but this seemed to
make little difference to the conditioning of some leading
players at the 2010 finals.
The World Cup usually starts just weeks after the end of
league season in Europe.
Blatter suggested in October fear of losing in the opening
round of the World Cup made for too many unexciting games in the
first fortnight of the tournament.
"Nobody really wants to lose one of these (first round)
matches, we had five or six draws in South Africa, so let's see
how we can make football more attractive," he said after a FIFA
executive committee meeting.
He had previously suggested one solution might be to abolish
extra-time, with drawn matches in the knockout stages going
straight to penalties.
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