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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 January, 2005, 18:38 GMT
FA agrees to look at spring break
Sven-Goran Eriksson
Eriksson only had three weeks with his squad prior to Euro 2004
The Football Association has agreed in principle to support Sven-Goran Eriksson's appeal for a four-week break before the 2006 World Cup finals.

Eriksson wants more time with his squad if they reach the finals in Germany.

A working group will now investigate a handful of possible ways to find enough time within the hectic fixture list.

The FA might scrap FA Cup sixth round replays or asking the Football League to do away with the two-legged semi-finals in the Carling Cup.

The Premiership is scheduled to end next season on 13 May, the date on which Fifa wants all domestic leagues to finish ahead of the 2006 World Cup, which starts four weeks later on 9 June.

However, while the Champions League final will be on 17 May, the FA was also given permission to hold the FA Cup final - the first competitive game at the new Wembley - on 20 May.

This would nevertheless have ensured that Eriksson could not have his way, especially if two leading clubs were involved in the showpiece occasion at Wembley.

Eriksson, who has already given up his call for a winter break to make room in the fixture calendar, argued his case publicly earlier this month.

He had said: "I really hope that the football people in this country will give us the chance to have a four-week break between the end of domestic football and when the World Cup starts.

"That's what we really need and it was one of the reasons why we only had a quarter-final in Portugal and Japan. Three weeks was too little. That's why I'm fighting for more."

Fifa president Sepp Blatter had imposed the 14 May deadline on all European leagues after several leading players under-performed at the Euro 2004 finals following exhausting club seasons.

Blatter insisted last month: "We have taken a historical and courageous decision. We saw player burn-out in 2002 and also at Euro 2004."





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