While the organization of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar continues to spill a lot of ink, Fifa is attracting even more criticism by offering a World Cup every two years.
« This game was a game for money, you have to be honest about it. We only play it because it brings more money to UEFA », Protested Thibaut Courtois, goalkeeper of Belgium, about the small final of the last League of Nations. While for some time, voices have been rising to challenge the accumulation of meetings. Today Fifa is considering a World Cup every two years. For the love of gambling or for profit?
« Your favorite dessert, you won’t eat it every day »
« In 2022, we will play the Worlds in November, then we will play until June. When do we rest? Never », Already regrets Thibaut Courtois. ” Football has changed. Players move more easily, there are private planes. Today, the grounds are carpeted. We had mud “, Remarks in the preamble for RFI the former Argentinian international Carlos Bianchi, Argentinian legend of Paris Saint-Germain in the 70s. But the native of Buenos Aires is not for all that a follower of a biannual World Cup.
« Your favorite dessert, you are not going to eat it every day, otherwise you will get bored of it. What is rare is beautiful. A World Cup every two years is to trivialize the event, it’s a mistake. Wanting to offer high-level football every day is to run the risk of boring people. Can you imagine playing the Champions League every 6 months? “, Argues Carlos Bianchi.
« What I propose is to reduce the number of qualifying matches, group it together and make space for an international competition at the end of the season. », Explains to The team Arsène Wenger, VRP for Fifa, about this reform project which has already obtained the support of several African and Asian federations, while the European leagues are turning their backs on this idea.
No Christmas holidays in 2022 for Ligue 1 players in France
For the next one World Cup in Qatar, the internationals should be released by their club only one week before the start of the competition which will take place from November 21 to December 18, 2022. The coaches will not have time to organize a training camp, and organize friendly matches upstream.
In France, the Ligue 1 championship should resume on December 28 and a day is even scheduled for January 1. The traditional winter break will be sacrificed to make up for the delay caused by the World Cup. A player qualified for the World Cup, who plays for a big club, will have to continue meetings with the championship, before the resumption of the Champions League.
« I do not understand, since the time we know that the 2022 World Cup will take place in winter, I wonder why Fifa has not thought about the question of the selection gatherings before the final phase Carlos Bianchi wonders.
Recently, Fifpro (the union of professional footballers) published a report with the number of matches played by some players. “ This is not tenable for the player, but also for the game and the competitions», Declared Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, general secretary of the union.
In 2019, Fifpro was already sounding the alarm about the risks to the health of players linked to the multiplication of matches and the congestion of calendars. It highlighted the case of Tottenham’s South Korean, Son Heung-min. The latter had played 78 matches in total during this season, including nearly three-quarters without having had five days of rest.
Ryad Mahrez, Algerian international winner of the African Cup of Nations, had not finished his season so his Manchester City club started the next one. A scientific study indicated that the risk of muscle injuries increases when players have less than six days of rest between two games.
«There are players who never get injured like Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, who are both over their 30s. Today, we can manage everything: training, travel. Here, the distances in Europe are not very long. To play the Copa Libertadores ( competition bringing together the best clubs from the South American continent, equivalent to the European Champions League, editor’s note) , the trip can last up to ten hours. In Europe, those who play the Champions League are in their beds at two in the morning. In South America, we return the next day at noon, tired. I see once again that the rich cry all the time », Nuance Carlos Bianchi.
« Today, it is not the football which is the most important, it is the money. There, I really say what I think. The players are no longer important. However, we want the best players on the field! But by continuing like this, the best players get injured and don’t play for a long time », Declared Peter Bosz, coach of Olympique Lyonnais at a press conference on Thursday 14 October.
Monitor player workload
To protect the health of players, the World Union of Players recommended in 2019 the mandatory establishment of four-week truces in the offseason and two weeks in winter. And also to limit the number of matches played with less than five days of recovery, impose a cap on the number of matches per player or even develop an alert system to monitor the workload of players and help them plan matches to be played. advance.
« The plan to organize this every two years is only at the consultation stage. It is precisely because it is a magic tournament that it must be organized frequently. The reputation of an event depends on its quality, not on its frequency. Every year you have a Super Bowl, Wimbledon or the Champions League and all the people are waiting for these events “, Just declared Gianni Infantino, boss of Fifa, in remarks relayed by Mark in Spain.
« For me, a World Cup must keep this rarity, which allows a World Cup every four years. I grew up in football waiting for the World Cup every four years. If things are to change, it has to go in the direction of football and the players. But it is the authorities that make these decisions », Commented the world champion Hugo Lloris, goalkeeper of the France team, recent winner of the League of Nations.
«It is not good to trivialize everything. You have to be logical, what is rare is beautiful», Concludes Carlos Bianchi.