Soccer. “Insane calendar”: will Ligue 1 players lose their minds? – Soccer

“The break was short-lived this summer, I can still see myself discussing the end of the season with you a few weeks ago! » AS Monaco returned to La Turbie just five days after the last football match of the season, that of the French team, on June 13th. Engaged in the qualifying play-offs for the Champions League, the Rock club wrote the first lines of the 2022-2023 season, while giving the impression of joining two exercises.

This is precisely what the International Federation of Professional Football Associations (Fifpro) denounced in a report published at the end of May, on the workload of players. “82% of performance experts, half of whom have national team experience, said they had witnessed an overload causing players mental health and lifestyle problems”, points to the union’s study. world of players.

A study widely relayed by the National Union of Professional Footballers in France. “It is urgent to review the international calendar in depth and to place the main players in the game, the players but also the technical and medical staff around the table”, wrote the UNFP.

A cut to nine days of the championship

In the sights of the unions, the League of Nations (four games in ten days for the Blues), which has extended the calendar of European internationals, after an already grueling season. Even if it means provoking indignation, even in the upper echelons of French football. “The players are tired. They are made to take risks (…). This calendar is insane. There are too many meetings ”, even squeaked Noël Le Graët, president of the French Football Federation. However, the coming season seems to flow in the same vein.

A globalist year, 2022 will see the World Cup played in winter, in the air-conditioned enclosures of Qatar, which cannot host the event in summer. Direct consequence for the players: they will make a cut at the… 15th day of the championship, on November 13. And if the majority of Ligue 1 players are not applying for a place under the Qatari sun, there is no doubt that a six-week break a month and a half earlier than usual could be physically disruptive.

No Christmas holidays

But, above all, Ligue 1 players will test, this season, a kind of French “Boxing Day *”, made up of two days set on December 28 and January 1, in the wake of the World Cup for some . A first in the history of French football, traditionally at a standstill during this period and which generally resumes with the entry into the running of professional clubs in the Coupe de France.

As a direct consequence of this six-week stoppage, the championship will be reduced by doubling the number of weeks to two games (four against two last season) and will end a week later than usual, on June 3. Without a play-off, since this season, the four lowest ranked teams will go down to Ligue 2, for the evolution to a Ligue 1 with 18 clubs the following season. And maybe a reduction of the calendar?

Historically, Boxing Day refers to the championship day set the day after the Christmas festivities, December 26.

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