Fifpro survey finds WWC 2023 players want more rest and mental health support

November 29 – Players at the recent Women’s World Cup felt that they did not have sufficient rest before and after the tournament and lacked mental health support, according to a survey by World Players’ union Fifpro. 

Fifpro surveyed players from 26 of the 32 World Cup finalists and two-thirds said they believed they were not at their physical peak at the start of the competition.

The union said 86% of respondents had less than two weeks of rest after their World Cup campaign.

Sarah Gregorius, Fifpro’s director of global policy and strategic relations for women’s football, said: “Players may not know the adequate rest, recovery and retraining periods themselves – it’s our job to campaign for that on their behalf.”

“One of the reasons we asked about players’ rest and recovery was to help shape future (FIFA International) Match Calendar discussions. We have very clear pillars and principles for what the Match Calendar should provide to players and the industry, but because of the particularities around this year’s World Cup being so far away for some of the players, it occurring later in the summer, so to speak, it was really important that we analysed how this affected players that participated.”

Around 60% said that mental health support was insufficient.

“It was quite alarming for us to see that statistic, that 60% of players felt that mental-health support was insufficient,” said Gregorius.

“The delegation size (for each team) was expanded from 35 to 50, and with that additional 15 people, you would expect that federations would have some mental-health support for players. Mental health becomes a big priority (in the next round of discussions) if 60% of players said it was insufficient.”

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