World Cup study into Qatar 2022 confirms fears around player health, says FIFPRO
FIFPRO released their World Cup 2022 Post-Tournament Review and Player Survey on Thursday
Global soccer players union FIFPRO said that the World Cup should never again be squeezed into a November-December window, and that Raphael Varane’s international retirement should ring alarm bells about the sport’s smothering schedule.
FIFPRO released their World Cup 2022 Post-Tournament Review and Player Survey on Thursday, and said the results confirmed their fears around players’ mental and physical fatigue and injury risk.
Varane helped France reach the World Cup Final – then announced on Feb. 3 he was ending his international career over a “suffocating” schedule.
Varane had just eight days between the World Cup Final and his first game back with his club Manchester United.
Sixty-four World Cup players were surveyed, and a lack of preparation and recovery time, and the resulting increased health risks were the key takeaways. Only 11% of players surveyed favoured the November/December World Cup timing.
Baer-Hoffman said a repeat of 2022 would be unacceptable.
Eighty-six percent of players want at least 14 days of preparation time, 61% would like 14 to 28 days of post-World Cup recovery time.
The condensed schedule meant the pre-World Cup turnaround for many European-based players was just six or seven days. Some players failed to recover from nagging injuries to play in Qatar.
Premier League players logged the most World Cup minutes, while Manchester City recorded the most minutes of any team, and Barcelona had the most players (17) at the tournament.