Players’ union says any new Champions League format must prioritise player health

February 18 – The international men’s players union FIFpro says ongoing discussions about the future of UEFA competitions with a view to preventing a breakaway Super League must include safeguards to protect the workload placed on its members.

The much-publicised overhaul of the Champions League has taken centre stage in recent months but FiFpro says the physical and mental wellbeing of its players is pivotal to any final agreement post-2024.

“The current workload of matches risks player health and endangers the performance levels for top competitions,” FIFpro said in a statement.

“Footballers are already experiencing fatigue and higher prevalence of injuries due to the ongoing competition cycle, back-to-back matches and a lack of adequate rest and recovery.

“A further increase in the number of matches for player in European club competitions would require the immediate implementation of direct player workload safeguards and an additional review of the international match calendar from 2024, something FIFPRO has consistently called for.”

FIFpro says domestic competitions and employment markets “must be protected” not least ensuring there are no weekend European club fixtures.

“This includes, for example, the access to European club competitions based on sporting merit and the protection of exclusive match days at the weekend for domestic leagues. At the same time, high-quality playing opportunities are scarce for players in many markets and greater exposure is critical for them to build sustainable careers.”

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