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International football: Why have we lost interest?

Tuesday 28th March 2017
As we're all aware, the international break and the FIFA World Cup qualifiers have been in full force. It's still several days until we get back the hold of European leagues that we all adore. Of course, there is absolutely no shortage of fans of the beautiful game, you will find them in every corner of the world.

But, there is one strange thing about fans today – they don't possess the same zest for international football as they do for club football. I'm quite sure you might have heard many fans complaining whenever the international break starts. Also, you might have heard many fans saying that international football is boring after watching club football. So, why is that?

There are a variety of factors playing a role here. We at It's Round And It's White take a look at some possible factors in this post.

Frequency of International breaks

There are about three to four international breaks in a season. Combining these means almost a month without club football every season. And that could be annoying right? Another thing is the club's rhythm gets distorted after the conclusion of the international breaks.

Injuries and fatigue

This can hurt a club or a country drastically, sometimes because players may get tired during their international duty and may not be able to give 100% for their respective clubs or vice versa. Or sometimes the players may get injured and the club would have to carry on without them for months! Anyway, there's not something we can really do to prevent this. It's natural and it is considered as part of the game.

Dull fixtures

Probably this might be the prime reason why fans avoid much of the international action these days. Some international fixtures seem too dull to follow. For instance, who would like to see France taking on Luxembourg, or San Marino against the Czech Republic, or Belgium taking on Estonia; and so on.

It's obvious who would like to watch two nations play when you don't know any of the players, or who would like to watch a top country taking on some small nation where the result is almost decided.

The thing is some of the nations are just too small to compete at this level. There should be a different qualification system for poorly ranked nations to avoid mismatches.

International friendlies

Perhaps it's the most provoking thing about international fixtures. And the timing of this is, even more, provoking (in the middle of a season). Most of the international friendlies are useless and it's nothing but a monetary task rather than meaningful preparation.

I know that players need to play with their respective countries regularly to increase the shape and the chemistry. But FIFA can allot a particular time period for that in the offseason rather than filling it in between the calendar of the domestic season.

Broadcast Problems

It may not be faced by the global audience but, I'm facing it in my country (India). It's like you're an England fan and you want to watch them play no matter who they play against, but their match is not going to be broadcast on TV so, you have to look for the other options. And believe me, some fans feel too lazy to do this. So, they just opt to care about the final result rather than watching the whole match.

Regardless of all these problems, we all know that International football can be awe-inspiring. It still holds a special place in the hearts of players and managers. And believe it or not, the international game still demonstrates the nation's true footballing capacity and condition. And that is why international football will always be more emotional than club football.
Zaid Pathan

A huge fan of Peter Drury's bombastic post-goal narration and an ardent football follower since his teens, Zaid believes the beautiful game is the best mode of escape from the daily hustle and bustle. He particularly loves to watch the Premier League and wants English clubs to dominate Europe again.

Life may or may not be beautiful, but football surely is.

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