Pep Guardiola has hit out at both UEFA and FIFA claiming that they are killing players with the scheduling of games and added that it is impossible for the players to sustain this for long. The scheduling choices have come under immense criticism this season with mid-week games a regular feature.
After a three month lockdown where no football was played, it forced UEFA and FIFA’s hands, with them forced to bring about a congested schedule. That has affected teams immensely with injuries piling up and it has seen managers heavily rotate their sides. That includes Pep Guardiola more than other bosses, with the Spaniard continuously tinkering with his side throughout the season.
However, ahead of Manchester City’s Champions League tie against Borussia Dortmund, Guardiola admitted that he has been forced to do it because of the way the schedule is. He believes that UEFA and FIFA are “killing the players” because it’s too much for footballers to play games with less than three days break. The City boss also added that this is not either physically or mentally sustainable and things need to change.
"They are human beings, they are not machines. I know the players, some of them are upset all the time because they want to play every day but this is not possible. To compete in all competitions in this year without spectators, in the shortest competition ever, (if) you don't rotate you don't compete in all competitions and you will not be in the position we are in now," Guardiola said, reported Goal.
"Of course they could play, they have an incredible mentality but they need rest. UEFA and FIFA killed the players because it's too much. We haven't had one midweek off since we started, not even one. There is no player who can sustain (this), not just physically but mentally to be ready every day to compete against opponents to win the game. It's impossible.
"I rotate I'm a genius, 'well done Pep' but when we lose and I rotate people say 'why rotate? You have to play the players like normal'. But it's unsustainable. The next game we are going to play fresh legs and against Leeds [United], more than ever, fresh legs."