Sarina Wiegman frustrated World Cup preparations disrupted by club-vs-country row

Sarina Wiegman frustrated World Cup preparations disrupted by club-vs-country row

England boss Sarina Wiegman is frustrated that a club-versus-country row is disrupting the Lionesses’ World Cup preparations.

The Lionesses are due to meet up on June 19 for a World Cup camp before flying to Australia on July 5 for the tournament.

The European Club Association (ECA), however, are concerned about the welfare of players and want them called up later. They initially set a mandatory release date of July 10, but earlier this month agreed on a new, non-mandatory one of June 23 - which is four weeks before the World Cup is due to start.

That has caused problems for England and other countries, though, who want to begin their World Cup prep before that.

Bayern Munich, for example, have told Germany they cannot call up players before June 23, even though their camp starts on the 20th. That would have implications for England as midfielder Georgia Stanway plays her football for Bayern.

Wiegman, who named her World Cup squad on Wednesday, has admitted to being frustrated by the situation and hopes it can be resolved swiftly.

“Of course, that’s frustrating because we have all our plans and we thought we were all set,” she said. “And then like a month ago, all of a sudden, things change...we didn’t expect that, it is so late. I do understand, it’s about the calendar.

“It’s really hard. It’s about players having rest, after the tournament players need to have rest. We basically have now an in-season break, so they also have to get prepared for the World Cup and have a little rest too.

“But after the tournament sometimes it’s hard to get the rest because competitive games start again. So that’s why we have to collaborate and talk to each other to try to solve that.

Sarina Wiegman on Wednesday. (The FA via Getty Images)
Sarina Wiegman on Wednesday. (The FA via Getty Images)

“But now it’s a short time like this. We’re all set and a month before we start, it all changes. That’s frustrating and it’s hard too because I think this is not the time to do this. It’s a time to do that later and solve it after this tournament.”

England are planning to play a farewell game before they fly to Australia, but they have not announced it yet. Wiegman has explained that is due to the FA not knowing when they can officially start their World Cup training camp.

“If we start on the 19th we have enough days to get ready for such a game,” she explained.

“If we start later then the players are even longer out from football and then you have too short a time to get ready for a fixture. I just hope we can do that and play that fixture but I can’t say anything about that now.”