Safeguards must be put in place to manage player workload in what will inevitably be a condensed 2020-21 season, a senior figure at the world players’ union FIFPRO has said.
Domestic leagues around Europe are suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. National associations are gathering via video conference on Wednesday for an update from two working groups set up by the continent’s football governing body UEFA, one of which is looking at the fixture calendar.
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There is a determination to finish this season, and June 30 remains the preferred deadline for Europe’s leagues and competitions but finishing the season in July and possibly later will also be discussed.
However, it is understood there are currently no plans to shorten the following campaign, which must be completed ahead of the rescheduled Euro 2020.
FIFPRO’s general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann says any discussions over the calendar must come with assurances that players will not be overstretched, with shortened winter breaks almost certain to be required.
“We very much believe that as soon as we have an understanding of when football can start again, and how we can finish the season, in parallel to fixing that schedule we need to have a very thorough planning of how we fix the next years and we need some very strong safeguards so that players do still find their rest,” he said.
“We are going to have a very tight schedule coming up anyway with the 2022 World Cup coming up in the winter which will put calendar pressure in terms of moving competitions here and there as well.
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