Soccer Players Threaten to Strike Over Packed Schedule

Soccer Players Threaten to Strike Over Packed Schedule
Image copyright: Fantasista/Contributor/Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

The Facts

  • Maheta Molango, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), has warned world soccer's governing body, FIFA, that soccer players have threatened to go on strike over allegations of a congested playing calendar.

  • The warning comes as the PFA met with the English Premier League (EPL), Spanish LaLiga, and Italian Serie A to study measures to combat FIFA's plans to increase the number of matches with a 32-team Club World Cup next summer.

The Spin

Narrative A

For years, FIFA and other soccer associations have continued to add matches for various reasons, creating an unsustainable schedule that pushes players to their physical and mental breaking point. With the proposed Club World Cup, some teams could be playing an absurd 75 matches, which doesn't even include international team games. That workload is unreasonable and borderline abusive, yet the governing body doesn't care. The Club World Cup is an unnecessarily greedy proposal that will only hurt the sport and its players.

Narrative B

There's no reason to be skeptical of the Club World Cup, as the new tournament will be a major boon for the sport's global popularity and is compatible with player welfare. Over the past several decades, player welfare has dramatically improved thanks to advancements in medicine and technology, and they are more than equipped to handle a few more games. FIFA is committed to growing soccer's global success while prioritizing player health, and the Club World Cup can achieve the former without jeopardizing the latter.

Metaculus Prediction

Sign up to our daily newsletter