"National team football is the heartbeat of our sport all across Europe," UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino said in outlining UEFA's key objectives for the coming four years at a conference in London.
"Raising the level of national team football to the elite level is the biggest sporting project undertaken by UEFA since the creation of the UEFA Champions League in 1992," the UEFA General Secretary said during an address to the Leaders in Football conference on Wednesday.
"The centralisation of media and marketing rights will allow us to provide more consistency across the football family. We intend to implement this for the UEFA EURO 2016 and 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying competitions in Europe.
"All of our 53 member associations signed up for this project at the last UEFA Congress and this support was manifested once more in a meeting with the presidents and general secretaries in Cyprus some days ago. Many member associations currently determine their business strategy based on the opponents they have in these competitions, but centralising will minimise these risks and allow associations to focus on organising football.
"We understand that the international match calendar is a FIFA matter," the UEFA General Secretary added. "But UEFA is providing suggestions via a democratic process involving all stakeholders. The main point is to replace friendly matches with double-header fixtures and to harmonise kick-off times as per the UEFA Champions League approach."
Mr Infantino also introduced the concept of the week of football within the existing framework of the international match calendar. "Today nearly all national team matches are on Friday and Tuesday," he said.
"The Tuesday date was agreed with the clubs and is unlikely to be changed. However, when you have the national team not playing on weekends it is a pity. If we leave the weekends to other sports, we believe it will have a negative impact on football. The appointments of matches will come from Thursday through to Tuesday. Especially during the weekends, we want to have national team matches played across Europe. This is important to promote national team football, [and] football overall."
The UEFA General Secretary also explained other UEFA objectives, including a "great football party" at UEFA EURO 2012 in Poland and Ukraine next summer; that European football's governing body will continue its zero tolerance policy to violence in stadiums and match-fixing; that financial fair play will help the credibility of football; and that UEFA will continue to act against discrimination.
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