European Club Association chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has a dream. His dream is that one day FIFA will use their billions of dollars worth of revenue to insure footballers that play in international events. The Bayern Munich man knows all about the pain of losing a star player to the World Cup as well. Bundesliga MVP and Champions League runner-up Arjen Robben suffered a serious hamstring injury this summer and is expected to miss all of the 2010/2011 season.
And Runnenigge admits that the talks so far have not gone very well and that there is still a lot of ground to gain in the negotiations. The chairman also claimed that the club owners would like to do away with August friendly matches considering it is during a vital month of preparation for the league sides. And it appears the Club VS Country debate has escalated with these talks.
Numerous times in the last year club owners and national team coaches have butted heads regarding the issue of star players hampered with minor injuries involved in international matches. Robin van Persie suffered a serious knee injury in a Dutch match early last year and nearly missed the entire EPL season for Arsenal. Cristiano Ronaldo’s new owners at Real Madrid were involved in a heated debate with Portugal staff regarding their desire to play the hurt star in order to qualify for this summer’s event last fall as well. And many other cases of a slightly injured players further damaging their body have occurred over the duration of last season in World Cup qualifiers and friendlies.
The league owners claim that with the World Cup getting bigger and better every four years that FIFA should give back some of this multi-billion dollar revenue to the players by creating insurance policies to protect their most valuable league and international assets. The discussions for such a thing to happen is just in the preliminary stages at the moment and it appears FIFA does not want to even consider such an option.
We will have to wait and see what develops regarding the case, but organizations happily giving away billion dollar revenues for the sake of being nice is never a likely prospect to happen for any corporation.