The ECA has warned its members will "seek to strictly adhere to the mandatory release period" for the FIFA Women's World Cup ©Getty Images

The European Club Association (ECA) has warned National Associations that players selected for this year's FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand should not be made available until 10 days prior to the start of the tournament on July 20.

It said that European clubs will "seek to strictly adhere to the mandatory release period" outlined in the FIFA regulations on the status and transfer of players, and "request that the rules governing the release of players to their national teams be respected".

Under the ECA's plans, players would be released from their clubs for international duty from July 10 which could affect several countries' plans for pre-tournament training camps.

Major women's leagues across Europe are set to finish at the end of May or start of June, with the UEFA Women's Champions League final scheduled for June 3.

The ECA said it was "concerned" about the "widespread practice" of National Associations calling up players for the Women's World Cup outside mandatory release periods, in some instances as early as May.

It believes that this will result in "insufficient time for adequate rest" with clubs beginning preparations for the 2023-2024 season after the conclusion of the World Cup, which it claimed "contravenes the protection of players’ health and wellbeing".

The ECA's head of women's football Claire Bloomfield underlined the importance of player welfare.

The expanded FIFA Women's World Cup is set to run from July 20 to August 20 this year ©Getty Images
The expanded FIFA Women's World Cup is set to run from July 20 to August 20 this year ©Getty Images

"This is not a matter of financial compensation or the absence of adequate protection and insurance, but a serious concern for player welfare," Bloomfield said.

"The issue of early call-ups is a hangover from the game in its amateur form and is detrimental to the future success and growth of women’s football.

"They also generate a great deal of unnecessary tension in the relationship between clubs and their players.

"We were given a very clear mandate by our member clubs which includes engaging in constructive and direct communication with our key stakeholders and partners, and this will be our focus in the coming days."

Several stars including England's Leah Williamson and Beth Mead and The Netherlands' Vivianne Miedema are expected to miss the World Cup because of serious injuries.

FIFA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the ECA through to the end of 2030 last month.

The ECA expressed its "full support for the importance of international duty and of national team competitions", and said it would work with the global governing body on not requiring the presence of a player before the World Cup mandatory release period.

The Women's World Cup is set to feature 32 teams for the first time this year, up from 24 in 2019, and run until August 20.