Footballers could PULL OUT of the 2034 Saudi World Cup due to workload issues, warns head of the PFA... with event set to be held in winter AGAIN, forcing extended domestic campaigns

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  • Over-worked footballers could driblet retired of nan Saudi World Cup, warns nan PFA
  • Saudi Arabia now looks group to big successful 2034, causing different almanac reshuffle
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By Mike Keegan For The Daily Mail

Published: 15:24 EDT, 31 October 2023 | Updated: 16:12 EDT, 31 October 2023

Footballers could driblet retired of nan Saudi World Cup complete workload issues, nan caput of nan PFA has warned.

Earlier connected Tuesday nan mediate eastbound state was confirmed arsenic nan sole bidder for nan tourney successful 2034, meaning it is inevitable that nan arena will – arsenic it was successful Qatar past twelvemonth – beryllium held successful nan wintertime and nan mediate of nan European seasons.

PFA main executive Maheta Molango believes that, coupled pinch an ever-growing calendar, could spot immoderate of nan planet’s biggest players extremity playing for their countries.

The way was cleared for Saudi aft only rival Australia withdrew its liking this morning. After nan deadline passed FIFA later confirmed Saudi was nan only bidder pinch confirmation of what is simply a now a formality is expected successful precocious 2024.

Given Saudi’s searing temperatures a wintertime tourney and extended home seasons are an almost-certainty, and Molango believes immoderate of nan planet’s biggest names whitethorn springiness it a miss.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino looks group to name Saudi Arabia arsenic hosts of 2034 World Cup

PFA main Maheta Molango believes over-worked footballers could driblet retired of nan World Cup

The astir caller World Cup, won by Argentina, was moved to a wintertime spot by hosts Qatar

‘We each want our biggest tournaments to showcase our champion players,’ he told Mail Sport. ‘That intends we request to commencement listening erstwhile players commencement opting retired of world shot owed to nan pressures of nan workload they are facing. We deliberation that’s a existent risk.’

Molango besides called for much clarity astir nan fixture list. ‘It’s important that we hold to spot nan detail, but we person to get to a business wherever location is acold greater co-ordination astir nan organisation of nan world fixture calendar,’ he said.

‘We can’t support treating tournaments and competitions successful isolation. There is ever a knock-on impact.’

Molango has spent clip pinch Manchester United defender Raphael Varane – who retired from world shot astatine nan property of 29 earlier this twelvemonth aft playing successful nan last for France successful Qatar. And he questioned a return to a wintertime event.

‘The men’s World Cup successful Qatar was played successful nan European winter, but this was understood to beryllium an exceptional circumstance,’ he said. ‘If that now isn’t going to beryllium nan case, we request to person a due knowing of what that intends for nan scheduling of nan wider almanac and, crucially, nan effect connected players successful position of injuries and fitness.

‘We’re not acold capable removed from Qatar yet to measure that, but we cognize location is interest among players that they simply ne'er get a break. Lengthening seasons to accommodate tourney scheduling evidently isn’t going to help.’

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has adjacent links pinch Saudi Arabia. On October 4 nan governing assemblage made nan daze announcement that nan bidding process for 2034 would return spot astatine nan aforesaid clip arsenic nan 1 for 2030. 

Potential bidders were only fixed until October 31 to registry interest. Within minutes, Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman announced that nan kingdom would bid.

Saudi Arabia look group to big successful 2034, pinch Infantino (middle) seen successful Riyadh past week for nan motorboat of Saudi's Esports World Cup (seated adjacent to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman)

Jurgen Klopp was among nan galore Premier League bosses unimpressed by nan wintertime slot

Human Rights Watch questioned that ‘unreasonably tight’ deadline.

Minky Worden, head of world initiatives astatine nan run group, added: ‘The anticipation that FIFA could grant Saudi Arabia nan 2034 World Cup contempt its appalling quality authorities grounds and closed doorway to immoderate monitoring exposes FIFA's commitments to quality authorities arsenic a sham.’

Elsewhere, Eddie Howe, head of Saudi finance fund-owned Newcastle United, said: ‘Our trips retired location to Riyadh and Jeddah were 2 very different experiences.

‘Everywhere we went was good organised; we were good looked after. If that's a motion of what a World Cup mightiness look like, structurally it will beryllium really good.’


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