FifPro releases scathing report criticizing crammed football schedule days to World Cup

FifPro releases scathing report criticizing crammed football schedule days to World Cup

Rene Otinga
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:16 PM
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  • Players’ union Fifpro has issued a statement on footballers’ welfare amid a growing concern of injuries ahead of the World Cup
  • The global spectacle will kick off in Qatar on November 20, but there is still one round of domestic matches to be played before official preparations start
  • According to Fifpro, the workload was too much and was inflicting damage on players

Football players are being pushed past their limits by juggling between domestic football and the World Cup, according to players' union Fifpro.

While the World Cup is a little over one week away, players participating in the spectacle still have to deal with one more round of domestic matches this weekend.

During midweek, there were also games in the various divisions; from the Carabao Cup to the La Liga and other cup competitions across Europe.

Sadio Mane, Bayern Munich
Sadio Mane of Bayern Muenchen injured during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern München and SV Werder Bremen at Allianz Arena on November 08, 2022. Photo by Stefan Matzke.
Source: Getty Images

According to a Fifpro report seen by BBC, the workload on players is becoming unsustainable and damaging to their physical and mental health.

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Findings from the report identified three points of concern:

  1. Fixtures had been crammed into a schedule that was already saturated in many regions.
  2. Due to inadequate calendar planning in other regions, players were underloaded.
  3. There was likely to me reduced player performance and optimization at the World Cup because of the limited time set for preparations for the global tournament.

One player that was highlighted to show FifPro’s concerns was Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung Min, who has played more than 600 minutes of football since October.

Son is also a huge doubt for the World Cup after fracturing his eye socket during the win over Marseille on November 1.

It was also highlighted that Sadio Mane played a staggering 93 competitive matches for Liverpool and Bayern Munich prior to his recent knee injury.

"The number of players speaking up shows the degree of concern players have and there will be many, many more in dressing rooms who just don't publicly speak about it," said Fifpro general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann.

Mane included in Senegal squad

Sports Brief also earlier reported on Sadio Mane’s inclusion in the Senegal World Cup squad as the forward now faces a race against time to be fit.

Previous reports had initially ruled out Mane entirely after picking up a tendon injury during Bayern Munich's game against Werder Bremen.

Cisse has also called up his reliable old guard in Chelsea's duo Kalidou Koulibaly and Edouard Mendy, Everton's Idrissa Gana Gueye and Watford's Ismailia Sarr.

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Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and