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Top Euro club's at loggerheads with FIFA over fixtures

The European Clubs Association (ECA) say recent discussions with the world governing body have been "disappointing" and that they have boycotted an invitation from FIFA to attend a summit on the calendar in Zurich on March 5. ECA spokesman Marc Schmidgall said: "We have had discussions with UEFA and we are close to finding a final agreement but talks with FIFA have been disappointing and we have decided not to attend FIFA meetings until further notice."

The ECA is made up of 201 clubs including Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal, Aston Villa, Everton, Fulham, Newcastle, Tottenham, Celtic, Rangers, Hearts and Aberdeen.

In September, the ECA called for the number of internationals a season to be slashed from 12 to six.

ECA president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge - who is also the Bayern Munich chief executive - has said claimed clubs are sick and tired of losing players for "nonsense" fixtures.

The ECA also want FIFA to take out insurance to pay for the salaries of players injured on international duty.

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Dave Williams

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