Fixture pile up and player fatigue will damage Euro2020 and Qatar 2022, says FIFPro

November 9 – FIFPro has warned that the current congested calendar and demands being placed on players could lead to both poor performances at Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup.

“The intensive current match calendar not only risks players’ health, but also risks undermining their performance at the UEFA European Championship and FIFA World Cup Qatar in 2022,” said FIFPro in a Reuters report.

In March, the global game went into shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, leading to the postponement of major international tournaments like Euro 2020 and the Copa America. Europe’s domestic competitions were forced to conclude over the summer as clubs, leagues and other stakeholders sought to curb the devastating financial consequences of the pandemic.

But last season’s delayed finished has had a profound knock-on effect on the current campaign with matches coming thick and fast. Sunday’s Premier League blockbuster Manchester City vs Liverpool descended into a war of attrition in the second half with players visibly tiring on both sides. During the international break, European national teams will play three matches instead of two.

“The current handling of the match calendar during this emergency period lacks sufficient considerations for (players’) health, well-being and performance and requires an urgent and ongoing revision,” said the global players’ union.

“Footballers are already experiencing fatigue due to the ongoing competition cycle, back-to-back matches and a lack of adequate rest and recovery during the European summer period. This, in turn, is putting them at an elevated risk of stress and injury.”

FIFPro suggested a four-week break between seasons, flexible two-week breaks during the season, pre-season training of at least four weeks and individual workload protocols to counter the demanding fixtures list and reduce the risk of injuries.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1656927327labto1656927327ofdlr1656927327owedi1656927327sni@o1656927327fni1656927327