Italy call-ups wreak havoc at Udinese
Udinese boss Francesco Guidolin has expressed his anger at the scheduling of international fixtures around the start of the new season.
Guidolin's Serie A side must beat Braga over two legs on August 22 and August 28 to secure qualification for the Champions League and open their league campaign with a trip to face Fiorentina on August 25. But what is already a congested month for Guidolin has been further complicated by the call-up of a number of Udinese stars for Italy's international friendly with England on Wednesday. "Unfortunately we will be back to play three games in six days, because of when the start of the Championship is. You add the international to that and it is absurd and hurts the sport," said Guidolin, who led the side to a third-placed finish in Serie A last season. "They want to promote the matches on TV? Okay, but it is not good for the sport. They take away nine players and I need to train my team." With several domestic leagues getting underway this month, club managers from across Europe have stated their dissatisfaction at the selection of a weekend in August for a programme of international fixtures, though FIFA president Sepp Blatter has defended the decision.