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Domestic association football season: Wikis

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The domestic association football season in countries that association football is played around the world varies in length and time of year contested. Most employ a single period in which the main league competition is contested alongside any cup competitions, although many Latin American leagues have two competitions contested in one season under the Apertura and Clausura system.

The period of the domestic football season is ultimately dictated by the weather, with most football games played on natural grass pitches which are vulnerable to freezing or becoming water-logged, although advances in artificial turf and pitch drainage/heating systems have improved pitch availability in many leagues.

The domestic season is pre-ceded by a pre-season, in which clubs will require players to report back to the club by a set date to begin pre-season training, and will arrange pre-season friendly games toward the start of the season to improve fitness and test team formations and tactics, particularly if new playing staff have joined a club.

In many leagues, the dates of the domestic season dictate the opening and closing of a transfer window, the periods when players can be transferred.

The timing of a domestic season must be coordinated with international football competitions, which can see national teams with different domestic seasons playing each other at different times in their domestic season, although this can be less significant for certain countries where their best players, and hence the bulk of their national team, do not play in their international team's domestic league programme.

The world football governing body, FIFA, which governs club as well as national football, mandates an international football calendar, whereby certain weeks in the year are reserved for national friendly and competitive matches, as well as regional club competitions. For dates which fall within a country's domestic season, league clubs are required to release any called up player for their international team a set numnber of days before a fixture. The date of the worldwide national team competition the FIFA World Cup is always in June/July.

Example league seasons

Europe
Africa
Americas
Asia
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