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“The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) warns FIFA of potential player strikes aimed at reducing match volume.”

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Pressure mounts on football’s global governing body to address the grueling schedule faced by elite players, with legal threats looming. The PFA advocates for adjustments to the congested football calendar, particularly with the proposed expansion to a 32-team Club World Cup next summer.

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At an event in London hosted by the PFA and FIFPRO, the international players’ union, concerns were voiced about players being pushed to their limits. PFA chief executive Maheta Molango recounted discussions with players from an unnamed club, some expressing readiness to strike due to their overwhelming workload.

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“We have reached a point where we cannot discount any action,” Molango stated.

Alexander Bielefeld, head of policy for FIFPRO, highlighted the alarming results of the annual player workload review and warned of further escalation next season.

“With the new UEFA Champions League format and the expanded Club World Cup entering the calendar, player workload is set to increase,” Bielefeld cautioned.

FIFA faces potential legal action if adjustments aren’t made to the schedule, with concerns raised by the World Leagues’ Association and FIFPRO regarding the saturation of football’s global schedule.

In response, FIFA pledges to ensure player welfare through “harmonious” scheduling. However, with plans to expand competitions like the Champions League and Europa League next season, concerns persist about the strain on players.

“The unions feel more compelled than ever that something has to be done about player workload—it has to be regulated,” Bielefeld emphasized.

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