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International breaks 2018-19: When they are, TV channels & live streams

11:30 BST 05/06/2019
Lionel Messi Argentina 2019
FIFA has designated time periods in which official games can be played in throughout the year - Goal takes a look at when they are

It may be the scourge of club managers around the world, but international football is and remains the pinnacle for many footballers.

So, while the likes of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, who branded the UEFA Nations League "the most senseless competition in the world", look at the international calendar with frustration, many players still take immense pride in representing their country.

The reason for the opprobrium expressed towards the international game is largely down to the fact that professional players, particularly those in the top leagues, already have packed schedules to fulfill, with games in the league, cup and, for some, continental competitions to partake in.

That means the addition of international games further adds to their workload, thus increasing the risk of burnout, injuries and so on.

The 'Club versus Country' stand-off has long been a talking point in the business and national team coaches usually keep a constant line of communication with club officials to monitor the availability of players ahead of each international break.

National teams in different parts of the world naturally have different competitions, but the calendar for international games, as laid out by the world governing body FIFA, remains the same, with games generally played during the same windows regardless of location.

When are the international breaks in 2018 & 2019?

Last year saw the 2018 World Cup and the beginning of the UEFA Nations League in November.

You can check out the international breaks in the table below.

Year Dates Official or friendly matches
2018 Mar 19-27 2
  Jun 14-Jul 15 World Cup
  Sep 3-11 2
  Oct 8-16 2
  Nov 12-20 2
2019 Jan 5-Feb 1 Asian Cup
  Mar 18-26 2
  May 23-Jun 15 U-20 World Cup
  Jun 3-11 2 (UEFA Nations League finals)
  Jun 7-Jul 7 Women's World Cup
  Jun 14-Jul 19 Africa Cup of Nations / Copa America / Gold Cup
  Sep 2-10 2
  Oct 7-15 2
  Nov 11-19 2

The year 2019 is also set to be a busy year in the international calendar, with the Africa Cup of Nations, the Asian Cup, the Copa America and the Gold Cup taking place.

As well as that, there will be five international windows during the year, each allowing for two games to be played, be they official tournament qualifiers (for the European Championship, for example) or friendlies.

The inaugural UEFA Nations League finals took place at the beginning of June, with Portugal coming out on top.

For the first time in history the Africa Cup of Nations took place in the summer, with the tournament running from June 21 to July 19 and Algeria winning out.

The 2019 Copa America kicked off on June 14 and finished on July 7, while the Gold Cup ran along a similar schedule from June 15 to July 7.

Women's football also enjoyed a spectacular summer, with France hosting the World Cup, while the men's Under-20 World Cup took place in Poland.

How to watch international football on TV & stream live online

In the United Kingdom (UK), international football can be watched on a number of different channels, with Sky Sports, ITV and BBC among those to hold the television rights.

However, it is somewhat more complicated in the United States (US), with English and Spanish language broadcasters working side by side in the American market.

Below you can see a list of the different channels in the UK and US along with the different competitions they have the broadcasting rights for.

UK TV channels

Sky Sports


  • England's UEFA European qualifiers
  • England's friendlies
  • European Championship
  • World Cup


  • European Championship
  • World Cup
  • Women's World Cup


  • Africa Cup of Nations


  • Wales' UEFA European qualifiers
  • Wales' friendlies

Premier Sports

  • Copa America

US TV channels

FOX / FS1 / FS2

  • World Cup 
  • Women's World Cup 
  • Gold Cup

Telemundo / Universo / Telemundo Deportes

  • World Cup
  • Women's World Cup
  • Copa America


  • UEFA European qualifiers 
  • Gold Cup


  • UEFA Nations League
  • UEFA European qualifiers 
  • AFC qualifiers
  • European Championship
  • Copa America

beIN Sports

  • Africa Cup of Nations
  • CONMEBOL qualifiers
  • CONCACAF qualifiers (excluding USA, Canada & Mexico home games)
  • CAF qualifiers

Eleven Sports

  • Asian Cup