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Why soccer players are demanding change to a calendar that has left them ‘at the limit'

·1 min

Just how much soccer is too much soccer? It’s a question on the lips of players, managers, and executives alike, as the sport comes to terms with a seemingly never-ending schedule. For those affected, frustration with the game’s governing bodies over a lack of consideration and an arduous calendar is reaching a boiling point. Representatives from players’ unions and professional leagues made this clear at the annual Player Workload event in London. European club teams are preparing for a revamped UEFA Champions League, which will see teams play at least an additional two games. On the international level, the European Championships expanded in 2016 and the 2026 World Cup will have more teams. Clubs are also coming to terms with a revamped FIFA Club World Cup competition. For the unions, this overhaul was a step too far, leading to legal claims against FIFA. The congested calendar has consequences for players’ health and performance, and there are concerns about mental health as well. Stakeholders in the game are calling for better consultation processes and a more balanced schedule.