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Dan Ashworth criticises European Under-19 Championship scheduling

Football Association technical director Dan Ashworth is unhappy with the timing of the European Under-19 Championship as England U19s prepare to get their title defence underway.

Football Association technical director Dan Ashworth has criticised the timing of the European Under-19 Championship as England Under-19s prepare to get their title defence underway.

The tournament has been scheduled to take place during the busy domestic football pre-season period, which has left the Young Lions shorn of several key players due to club commitments.

Manchester City's Phil Foden, Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon are among those absent from Paul Simpson's setup.

"It's bitterly disappointing that, once again, this tournament is scheduled outside a FIFA window which forces clubs to make such difficult decisions," Ashworth told the FA website.

"We understand the dilemmas the clubs face around release of players during this particular time of the season and it's our view, and that of several other countries, that UEFA should take this into account when scheduling tournaments of this magnitude.

"It's the same situation for every country here and this surely impacts the value of the tournament. We all want our teams to be facing the best players in the world to really provide the greatest developmental impact.

"Hopefully, UEFA will finally look at this properly and schedule the tournament at a sensible time in the season in the future for the benefit of the players, clubs, international teams and the competition itself.

"That said, I am confident in the players that we have at this tournament and it gives them all a brilliant opportunity."

The competition takes place from July 16 to July 29 in Finland.

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Phil Foden in action for England under-17s on September 1, 2017
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