Northern Ireland head coach Ian Baraclough has called out UEFA and FIFA, asking them to find a solution for the football calendar as he believes that the players are being put at unnecessary risk. This comes less than a few weeks after PFA chief executive Maheta Molango hit out at the same.
With the COVID-19 break during the 2019/20 season it forced football to postpone and push more than a few tournaments and fixtures, it has forced a knock-on effect. That includes the current season with more than a few COVID enforced breaks pushing games and players to a breaking point. So much so, that medical reports have indicated that injuries and muscle fatigue-related injuries have shot up over the last few years.
That has seen more than a few managers ask for changes and Northern Ireland head coach Ian Baraclough is the latest in a long line. Baraclough will be without eleven senior players for the upcoming Nations League games and has called out both UEFA and FIFA, asking them to change the international calendar. The North Ireland boss further added that in light of the PFA chief executive’s quotes, that football needs to look after the players and bring down injuries.
"Back-to-back seasons as it was through the Covid period - people are forgetting that there was very little time from the end of last season and the start of the season that's just gone. For players, the demands on them are just more and more. Whether it's UEFA or FIFA, they have to look at the situation. By asking players to go on a 12-month cycle, it's just not possible and you're finding a lot of these injuries are fatigue injuries,” Baraclough told Sky Sports.
"I know the chief executive of the PFA has come out and said we need to look after these players because they can't keep going on without having a rest period. There have been studies into this by FIFPRO as well and club managers quite rightly are concerned about their players who are then going on international duty after a big workload throughout the season."