FOOTBALL : England boss Fabio Capello has defended next month’s trip to Qatar to face Brazil in a friendly and insists his players will return from international duty fresher than those from other countries.
England boss Fabio Capello has defended next month’s trip to Qatar to face Brazil in a friendly and insists his players will return from international duty fresher than those from other countries.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, while not specifically mentioning the Doha fixture on November 14, lamented “the intrusion of a friendly game in some unknown country” in the midst of the club season.
Capello said: “I don’t understand what this is all about. Most other countries are playing two games but we are only playing one match and returning the players on Sunday, four days earlier than the other countries.”
Countries involved in World Cup play-offs will play two matches during the break, while Germany, Spain, Italy and Holland are also scheduled to play twice.
Capello continued: “We did this out of respect to the players and their clubs at such a busy time in the fixture calendar.”
The friendly is the reciprocal match following Brazil’s visit to Wembley in 2007, with the South Americans given the choice of where to play their “home” game.
It means Capello’s men will embark on a 6,500-mile round journey for a match that falls between United’s trip to Chelsea six days before and the visit of Everton to Old Trafford a week later.