What is The International Break in Football?

What is The International Break in Football?

    International breaks are a period that can be deemed as a time for reflection and relaxation for many football players. This is a spell during which football players from all over the world participate in international matches for their respective countries and club football comes to a halt.

    Why is there an international break in football?

    International breaks are scheduled well ahead of time, before the start of any season, so that domestic leagues and national teams can plan for their players to play during these breaks. This is the period during a domestic campaign when no club matches are taken place.

    FIFA and other football governing bodies such as UEFA, CONMEBOL, CONCACAF use these breaks to conduct qualification matches for major football tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA European Championships, the Africa Cup of Nations, Copa America, the CONCACAF Gold Cup, etc.

    Besides such qualifiers, national teams also participate in international friendlies which gives an opportunity for national team coaches to work with their respective squads outside of major international tournaments.

    These breaks can be unpopular for clubs and their coaches, particularly if players get injured while away on international breaks which happens in most cases.

    When are the international breaks during the 2023/24 campaign?

    Such breaks typically occur multiple times during a football season and their timing is often fixed by the international football calender. The break usually lasts for 10-14 days and in knockout tournaments like the World Cup, there can be a prolonged international break.

    GamesStart dateEnd date
    European Championship qualifiersFebruary 11, 2024September 12, 2023
    European Championship qualifiersOctober 9, 2023October 17, 2023
    European Championship qualifiersNovember 13, 2023November 21, 2023
    AFC Asian Cup 2023January 12, 2024February 10, 2024
    Africa Cup of Nations 2023January 13, 2024February 11, 2024
    European Championship qualifiersMarch 18, 2024March 26, 2024
    European Championship 2024June 14, 2024July 14, 2024

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