Grant intrigued by global games

Chelsea boss gives his backing to ambitious plans

Grant: Happy to travel the world

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Avram Grant feels that Premier League games could be played around the world as long as the concept is well organised.

The news that the governing body of England's top-flight is looking into the prospect of having an 'international round' of fixtures implemented by the 2010/11 season has been greeted with mixed reactions across the country.

Despite acknowledging the obvious problems which could arise from having to travel halfway across the globe to play a single match, Chelsea boss Grant is one of those prepared to back the proposals as long as extra care is taken with the planning.

Interesting

"I think it is an interesting idea," he said.

"Everybody likes the Premier League, including many places in the world. I need to think about this. It is interesting.

"On one hand I think the Premier League has to be played in England but on the other so many people around the world like it.

Positives

"I can see why people are concerned but many people are happy about it too. I am a big fan of the NBA and they decided to play in Europe. That had positive and not so positive signs.

"One part of this is the travelling but I don't have a clear answer about this. I have not spoken to (chief executive) Peter Kenyon about it but I am sure I will.

"I am sure if the Premier League decide to play these games, they will fix it so that it is not a big problem and they will think about it. It will not be easy. We have to think in the long-term whether it will be good or not."

Lampard return

Grant is currently preparing his troops for a crunch showdown with Liverpool on Sunday and looks likely to be able to call on the services of Frank Lampard for the first time since the 4-4 draw with Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

However, Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou and Michael Essien will be unavailable for the Stamford Bridge clash as they are due to take part in the Africa Cup of Nations third/fourth play-off match between Ivory Coast and Ghana on Saturday.

"I would be more than happy if we could get them for this game but I cannot fight with something I cannot win. I think they have to stay," Grant said on his African trio.

"Frank trained today (Friday) and yesterday, he is better. He will be available for the weekend. It is good news."