companies : Premier League players' union takes legal action over FIFA's Club World Cup plans

companies : Premier League players' union takes legal action over FIFA's Club World Cup plans
companies : Premier League players' union takes legal action over FIFA's Club World Cup plans

Thursday 13 June 2024 10:52 PM

newsonline - England's Professional Footballers' Association has launched legal action over plans for a Club World Cup due to concerns over player burnout.

The PFA - which represents Premier League players among others - said the decision "was taken without negotiation or engagement with player unions".

It called the tournament "a tipping point for the football calendar and the ability of players to take meaningful breaks between seasons".

The legal action has been launched in the Belgian court system with other European players' unions and calls on FIFA to abandon plans for the 32-team competition in June and July 2025.

Global players' union FIFPRO and the World Leagues Association also sent a letter to FIFA president Gianni Infantino last month to demand it not go ahead.

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Their letter said FIFA was being "inherently abusive" in adding games.

The Club World Cup is set to be staged every four years, replacing the little-regarded annual seven-team event that Manchester City won in December.

Twelve teams from Europe would take part and after a three-team group stage there would be another four matches up to the final.

Gianni Infantino
Image: Gianni Infantino, FIFA's boss, is backing the new tournament

Premier League boss Richard Masters recently complained about FIFA's lack of consultation over the competition, which follows UEFA expanding the Champions League to add matches next season.

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"The feedback we have from players is that there is too much football being played," he said.

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If their teams qualified for all the new competitions, some Premier League players could be required for more than 85 matches in some years for club and country.

The congested fixture list leaves players with little space for rest and recovery, with FIFA yet to grant demands for a mandatory 28-day off-season break.

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FIFA has said the Club World Cup is about growing the game globally and it has agreement from the European Club Association, with whom it has a commercial partnership.

Real Madrid recently committed to playing in the tournament despite manager Carlo Ancelotti reportedly telling Italian media the club would "refuse".

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