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EPL overseas plan worries FA
February 16, 2008 16:32 IST
The English FA has told world governing body FIFA that it has serious reservations over the Premier League's plan to play extra matches overseas.
The FA also said in a statement on Friday that it did not want the proposals floated by England's [Images] top 20 clubs last week to damage its bid to stage the World Cup in 2018.
"It was ... made clear to FIFA that the FA has some serious reservations about the proposal," the English game's governing body said on its Web site (www.thefa.com).
"We have a responsibility to the whole of English football and we have to consider any wider consequences and implications that this proposal may create."
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has opposed the plans and warned that the proposal could harm England's World Cup bid.
With this in mind, the FA statement added: "We also do not want the Premier League's proposal to affect England's 2018 World Cup bid in any way. At this time, due to the FA's strong international relations, we do not believe it has."
The Premier League clubs have agreed to consider playing league matches overseas from the 2010-11 season.
The fixtures, planned to be staged over one weekend in January in cities which had bid for the hosting rights, would extend the league season to 39 matches per club from 38.
The plans have been widely criticised by world and European governing bodies FIFA and UEFA and met a chorus of disapproval from local fans and the British media.
Blatter told the BBC on Thursday: "This is abuse. The rich Premier League is trying to get richer and wants to expand the importance of that league.
"This does not take into consideration the fans of the clubs and it gives the impression that they just want to go on tour to make some money."
The FA said it had listened to Blatter's comments and spoke on Thursday to FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke about the plans, which will be discussed by the FA's board on February 21.
"We have heard the criticism from supporters and the objections raised by others in the worldwide football family," the FA said on its Web site.
"The FA has worked extremely hard for several years to improve our relationships and standing with FIFA and UEFA, and has largely succeeded. Clearly, we do not want this extensive work to be damaged."
FA chairman David Triesman added in the statement: "I am determined that our international and domestic relations must be sustained at the highest level, and I will not countenance any damage to those relations."
The FA said it did not yet have any detailed proposals from the Premier League to pass on to FIFA.