Ferguson laments friendly intrusion

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Football News

Sir Alex Ferguson has issued a veiled criticism of the Football Association's decision to schedule England's friendly international against Brazil in Doha next month.

Fabio Capello's team will embark on a 6,500-mile round journey to play Brazil in Doha on November 14 - a date that falls between United's trip to Chelsea six days before and the visit of Everton to Old Trafford a week later.

While Ferguson did not specifically mention the Qatar trip he lamented "the intrusion of a friendly game in some unknown country" in the midst of the club season.

"You want them [the players] to play in the important international games, it's important to them and I want them to play," Ferguson said. "It's the friendly matches that are the problem.

"It's a coach's nightmare, especially if you are in the middle of a European campaign and going for cups and titles.

"You have all these fixtures and you have the intrusion of a friendly game in some unknown country, so that is a definite thorn in everyone's flesh."

Ferguson conceded that such matches were important for national teams with next summer's World Cup in South Africa looming large, but he believes some national team managers would prefer not to play some friendlies.

The Scot also questioned the intentions of football associations to schedule friendlies, saying they sometimes represented "a nice trip for them on a sunny day" and "in some cases creates good revenue".

"All international managers have their jobs to do and we support that, particularly when it comes to the issues of competitive games, ie the European Championships or the World Cup," Ferguson added.

"I think that some of them actually could do without the friendly games themselves, but the FAs from every country warn them that sometimes it's a nice day for them, a nice trip for them, a sunny day, and in some cases it creates good revenue for them. So you can understand it."

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