(CTN News) – In response to claims that its recently expanded Club World Cup overburdened players, FIFA has cited the durability of superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
The introduction of a 32-team tournament to an already packed schedule by the world governing body of soccer prompted worries about the psychological and physiological well-being of the participants.
On Tuesday, World Football Association (FIFA) head of global development, Arsene Wenger, stated that players could maintain peak performance for longer thanks to “huge improvements on the welfare side” in areas like diet, injury prevention, and medical technology.
Messi, Ronaldo, and (Karim) Benzema are just a few athletes who have won world accolades after turning 35. Also, professions on a global scale can continue for more than 20 years. “That was not possible not too long ago,” Wenger, the former manager of Arsenal, stated.
The United States will host the first-ever Club World Cup in 2025, from June 15th to the 13th.
Arsenal stated, “The positive impact that this will have on clubs is going to be huge,” referring to the increased resources available to clubs worldwide, allowing them to better develop and compete. “This one has received a lot of support, and there is a demand for major football tournaments.”
Even while the European Club Association hailed the competition as “fantastic news for club football,” the proposals were criticized by FIFPRO, the world players’ organization.
It claimed that the event’s scheduling demonstrated a “lack of consideration for the mental and physical health of participating players, as well as a disregard for their personal and family lives” as it did not implement “further player workload safeguards.” Meanwhile,
Players’ careers could be limited due to the obligations placed on them, according to FIFPRO.
Despite Wenger’s assurances that players would have enough time to rest before, during, and after the tournament, a recent FIFPRO report indicated that 43% of players felt “extreme or increased mental fatigue” during last year’s World Cup, which was held in November and December in the middle of many seasons.
The present structure of the Club World Cup allows the South American and European champions to play a maximum of two matches. There would be a maximum of seven matches for the champion and runner-up in the extended edition, which involves a group stage followed by knockouts from the round of 16.
Currently taking place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the Club World Cup is the last edition in its current form, and Manchester City, holders of the Champions League trophy, are looking to capture the trophy for the first time.
If the new format, held every four years, is well-received, it might become as popular as the Premier League and the Champions League, two of soccer’s most prestigious tournaments.