FIFA LEAGUES/CUPS

FIFPro calls for longer recovery times between games





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Fifa (Getty Images)

The
Hague – Professional footballers’ union FIFPro on Friday called for longer
recovery times for top players between matches and when taking long-haul
flights, saying current schedules failed to “adequately safeguard health
and performance capacity.”

FIFPro’s call comes in the run-up
to the 2018 FIFA World Cup next week, ahead of which many players were called
up by national squads despite a mandatory FIFA rest period, the union said.

Most players “are likely to
join their club teams soon after the tournament as well,” FIFPro added,
saying “the reality is that many players are coming under extreme pressure
to perform at their best in difficult circumstances.”

Between February and April, the
union surveyed a total of 543 players “including those with clubs in some
of the biggest European leagues of England, France, Germany and Italy.”

Of those surveyed, 300 players
represented their national teams.

“In many countries across
all FIFPro’s divisions, the number of matches played is too high,” FIFPro
concluded in the study, released at its headquarters in Hoofddorp outside
Amsterdam.

It found that almost half of
national team footballers who played 50 or more matches per season are being
too stretched by the current schedule.

It called on FIFA, leagues and
clubs to adopt the following minimum requirements “to protect the
health” of professional footballers:

  • At least 72 hours to recover
    between matches and as a general rule, not play more than three matches every
    two weeks.
  • Extra recovery time after long
    international flights.
  • A mid-season break of 10 to 14
    days.
  • An off-season break of four to
    six weeks.

“The survey findings enforce
the need for federations, leagues and clubs to pay closer attention to player
recovery time,” FIFPro’s chief medical officer Vincent Gouttebarge said.

“It is important, for
example that all national team members returning to their clubs after the World
Cup in Russia are given enough time to fully recuperate,” Gouttebarge
added.








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