The coronavirus outbreak has brought nearly the entire soccer calendar to a screeching halt. Right now, there’s nothing to suggest that sports in general will be coming back anytime soon, and that has led to a lot of questions about the calendar for the soccer world whenever it does fully resume.
The March FIFA international fixture window for men’s soccer was wiped out, led by the United States Men’s National Team’s cancelation of friendlies against the Netherlands and Wales. The USWNT also canceled April friendlies against Australia and Brazil, and there is now talk that the June FIFA international window will be canceled due to the domestic leagues needing the dates to possibly finish their seasons should sports be able to resume at that point.
A June window cancelation would create a waterfall of issues for various matches that need to be played. CONCACAF is supposed to crown a Nations League champion in June, as they hold the Nations League Finals during those dates with the USMNT, Mexico, Honduras, and Costa Rica. UEFA had rescheduled its playoffs for Euro 2020, which has now been rescheduled to next summer, for the June window. And World Cup qualifying, which was supposed to begin in March, is supposed to continue in June as well. It is supposed to continue this fall. For the women, there are friendlies and confederation tournament qualifiers hanging in the balance both this summer and into the fall.
This creates an opportunity for FIFA to completely revamp the international fixture schedule so that the matches that need to be played can occur on the schedule that allows for players to not have to risk further injury by playing so many matches in a short window. That leads to this week’s Community Corner question: if you could wipe the FIFA calendar clear, what is your ideal international calendar?
Hit the comments and let us know what you think is the best schedule for all involved.