Football calendar ‘exceeds maximum’ – Celtic chairman Peter Lawwell

image Caption,

Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes played more minutes of football than any other elite player last year, figures show

Celtic chairman Peter Lawwell says the football calendar has been “exceeded the limit” due to the extension of major competitions.

Lawwell, who was named vice-president of the European Club Association last month, says players’ welfare must be protected.

The men’s World Cup finals will expand to 48 teams in 2026.

“I feel like we’ve pushed it too far, especially with the new World Cup and restart dates,” he said.

“Between now and then we have to put in place a process that takes into account everything from player welfare, time on the field and time in training.”

On Tuesday, the UK and the Republic of Ireland are to be confirmed as the 2028 hosts of the European Championships, which were expanded from 16 to 24 countries in 2016.

By then, the first 48-team World Cup will have been held, as will the Club World Cup, FIFA’s 32-team event that effectively replaces the Confederations Cup, played every four years.

Next season, the formats of the Champions League and Europa League are changing, so each club will play eight first-stage matches instead of six group games as is currently the case.

On Friday, football’s world governing body FIFA confirmed the key dates for the 2030 World Cup, which will be played across three continents.

The final is scheduled for 21 July, a week later than usual and less than three weeks before the Community Shield is to be held, if it is retained in the same slot as the previous summer’s World Cup 2018.

“We have probably exceeded the maximum limit,” Lowell said.

“A situation has arisen where it is impossible to expect high-quality performances from elite athletes in so many sports in one year. Something has to be done.”

The issue of a packed calendar has been discussed by Premier League managers this season.

Reflecting on the number of injuries to top-flight players since the campaign began in August, Manchester United boss Eric ten Hag said they could no longer cope with “overload”.

Burnley counterpart Vincent Kompany has called for a limit of 60 to 70 games a season for each player.

Global players’ union Fifpro released data last week showing United captain Bruno Fernandes played 6,666 minutes last year, more than any other player, while Manchester City have four players in the top 10 in Europe. Were. City and Argentina forward Julián Álvarez played 66 games and reached both the World Cup and Champions League finals.

Historically, there has been a lack of trust between the club and national team medical departments. In each case, the managers concerned have their own pressures to deal with.

However, ECA chief executive Charlie Marshall feels the old enemies need to be put aside.

“How you manage the health and safety of players will come down to more sophisticated collaboration,” he said.

“We have to move away from the traditional interaction between national teams and clubs, meaning players go away and you don’t know anything about what will happen until they come back.

“We want to encourage greater trust, collaboration, science and fairness when it comes to player injury management, so that sensitive rotation of players can actually become a possibility in the interests of both parties.

“We want to see the coaches be more sophisticated on squad rotation, especially perhaps in some of the less important games, to try and achieve something that makes the calendar a little bit more healthy as we face it.”

Source link

Leave a Comment