World players’ union FIFPRO warned that player well-being was not taken into account when setting competition schedules, hours before Denmark’s Christian Eriksen collapsed in his home match. opening of the European Championship group against Finland.
It was not immediately clear what caused Eriksen to collapse or if it was related to exhaustion. He was then rushed to hospital where his condition stabilized.
The Euros have been postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which delayed the start of the 2020-21 season and forced all European leagues to end a grueling season in time for the summer tournament.
“Over the past four years (…) players around the world have told us that the competition schedule does not adequately meet, or even take into account their needs. The conditions in and around the game leave you mentally and physically exhausted, “said the FIFPro general secretary. Jonas Baerr-Hoffman, said in an open letter.
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Hoffman said it was time for a change and urged players to make their voices heard collectively through their unions.
“Over the next few months, we will negotiate on your behalf with FIFA and other stakeholders to ensure that you have more of your say as we demand a fairer and more reasonable schedule, fairer terms and better guarantees. and protections on and off the pitch, ”he added. .
“For us, the voice of the player is the most important in the conversation,” they added, saying players were excluded from decision making.
A number of top club coaches have criticized this season’s compressed schedule.
In November, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer warned of injuries that accumulate in the Premier League due to “physical or mental fatigue”.