November 18, 2022

The evolution of the sports calendars was discussed at the Thinking Football Summit

Ahmed Abassi, Alexander Bielefeld, Javier Morente and Alberto Colombo were the protagonists of the debate

The evolution of sports calendars and their impact on Professional Football was one of the most prominent topics on the TFS Stage, one of the main stages of the Thinking Football Summit 2022.

The debate brought together Ahmed Abassi of the Qatar Stars League, Alexander Bielefeld of FIFPRO, Javier Morente of LaLiga and Alberto Colombo of the European Leagues. The panel discussion was moderated by Jon Prada, journalist of the newspaper Marca.

Alexander Bielefeld was the first to express his views in relation to the theme of this panel discussion. "With the current calendar, the players can no longer properly train. All they do is travelling and playing and that has an effect on the players' lifestyle," he said.

Javier Morente agreed with Alexander's point of view and added a relevant fact. "95% of the players only participate in domestic competitions. They represent a total turnover of 28 billion euros. The economic strength of football is in the domestic leagues," he said.

As for Alberto Colombo, he stressed that "the problem is not domestic football; the major European leagues have kept the same calendar format for around 25 years. It is not domestic competitions that create the problem, if there is one."

Last but not least, Ahmed Abassi highlighted his venture of governing the Qatar Stars League in recent years and the changes that the World Cup may bring to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). "With the World Cup, we saw an opportunity to change the AFC calendar. Our goal is to raise the level and get closer to European Football. We want to make our competitions better," explained QSL's Executive Director of Competitions.