France coach Laurent Blanc has suggested a reduction in the number of teams in Ligue 1 may give his side a better chance of success on the international stage.
Les Bleus have fallen short of expectations in recent years, with group-stage exits at both Euro 2008 and this year’s World Cup.
Blanc took up the national reins in July, charged with the task of turning round a team which had threatened to unravel under predecessor Raymond Domenech.
But former defender Blanc feels his job is not helped by the number of matches his players take part in, in the 20-team French top-flight, leaving him with too little time to prepare for international fixtures.
“If we want to do justice to the team and team selection, we must move towards a more consistent calendar,” Blanc told L’Equipe, adding that a less-congested domestic season seemed the sensible solution.
“There is no one answer to balance things, but given the growing importance of the Champions League, only the domestic competitions can help free up dates.
“We either return to 18 clubs in Ligue 1 or we get rid of a cup competition.”