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Tottenham defend Wigan date switch after fans backlash

Tottenham have defended their and Wigan's decision to move this weekend's Premier League encounter to Sunday to give their players more time after the international matches.

The Football Supporters' Federation has slammed the move, but Tottenham said in a statement that the fans had been given the maximum notice possible.

The statement said: "In order for fixtures to be redated both clubs must be in agreement prior to any application to the Premier League, but this does not mean that permission will always be granted.

"Our requests of this type were made at the beginning of July and incorporated in the first officially published fixture list, thereby giving fans the greatest amount of notice possible.

"It has been our practice for several seasons now to seek the rescheduling of those fixtures which fall immediately after a midweek international match.

"This is because FIFA regulations stipulate the times within which a player on duty with his country has to return to his club after an international game, and in the cases of games played in a different confederation this is 48 hours after the end of the match. Given the time differences often involved some players can and do return as late as the early hours of a Saturday morning.

"We have always felt that moving fixtures under these circumstances gives players a fair chance to prepare for league games given their very gruelling travel schedules and also gives coaching staff every chance of fielding its most competitive line-up."

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