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Ferguson speaks out against '39th game'

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  • Alex Ferguson signals opposition to '39th game' for Premier League clubs
  • Manchester United manager says there is no time in the calendar for extra game
  • Asia is considered the most likely region to host fixtures outside of England
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(CNN) -- Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has come out against the idea of a a 39th Premier League game to be played in Asia.

Ferguson is firmly opposed to controversial plans for a 39th Premier League game.

Ferguson made his opposition public as his team arrived in Japan to play in FIFA's Club World Cup.

The long-serving manager in the English Premier League cannot see the need for an additional match, citing fixture congestion as the primary reason.

"I don't think there will ever be a 39th game and I don't believe there should be," Ferguson told the Press Association.

"I certainly am not in favor of it.

"You look at our domestic program allied to our cup competitions. It is impossible."

Ferguson's team face a fixture backlog after returning home from Japan where they have a semifinal against Asian champions Gamba Osaka on Thursday with the final scheduled for Sunday.

Learn about the Gamba Osaka football team who will face Manchester United

As well as their defense of the Premier League and Champions League titles, United have also reached the semifinals of the League Cup and will begin their FA Cup challenge next month.

Premier League officials first floated the idea of a 39th game last spring, with clubs due to face each other in a number of locations around the world.

It was met with widespread opposition in the traditional football community, with many international confederations concerned that hosting Premier League matches would have a negative impact on their own domestic competitions.

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But recently there have been some conciliatory noises coming out of the Far East, with Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed bin Hammam indicating qualified support.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has still not abandoned his original plan, due to start in the 2010-11 season, but Ferguson's opposition is sure to be a formidable obstacle.

However, the United manager was better disposed to Club World Cup, which comes at an awkward time in the English season.

"I think it is mainly the media in Britain who don't take this tournament as seriously as we do," he said.

"The nitty gritty is that we could look back in 30 years and say that Manchester United was the world champion and that is what this club is about and that is why it is important for us to win it."

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