World players’ union calls for a mandatory mid-season break to help players with workload

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Barcelona's Lionel Messi battles for possession with Ruben Perez of Leganes

La Liga restarted on 11 June after being suspended on 23 March

The world players’ union Fifpro wants a mandatory mid-season break of between 10-14 days to help players cope with the demands of a revised calendar.

After a three-month break caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, domestic seasons in England, Spain and Italy have resumed.

All are due to finish at the end of July, with Uefa’s Champions League and Europa League tournaments in August.

Spain intends to begin its 2020-21 season on 12 September and the Premier League is likely to follow suit.

That leaves a gap of three weeks between the Champions League final on 23 August and domestic seasons starting up.

And that gap will feature two international matches, marking the start of a campaign that will not be completed until the European Championship final on 11 July.

Work on the domestic calendar in England is yet to start, although there are already suggestions clubs in European competition may not enter the EFL Cup.

Fifpro is alarmed that there has been no consultation with players’ representatives about the schedules they will be facing.

In addition to the winter break, it wants a minimum three-week break between seasons for players, followed by a retraining period.

“A mandatory mid-season break of between 10 and 14 days is more important than ever during what will be a highly-congested match schedule for many players over the next two to three years,” outlined Fifpro.

“In addition, the minimum contractually-agreed holiday periods need to be respected. In most countries this is at least three weeks, followed by a retraining period to avoid injuries.

“It is not acceptable that altering competition calendars leads to pressure to breach these rights.”

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