Fifa launches dedicated player welfare task force as demands on game’s stars continue to grow

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The Fifa Council has launched plans for a dedicated task force on player welfare, as they also confirmed the controversial plans for the expanded World Cup.

With the bloated football calendar becoming the major point of tension in football politics, the global governing body talked about plans for a task force to try and ensure the players don’t feel the weight of so many fixtures.

Among potential measures that were discussed were a mandatory rest period per player once a season, with timing dependent on type of season and individual calendar; a minimum of two full calendar days and ideally 72 hours between matches and a mandatory rest day every week.

The players’ union FIFPRO and other technical experts will be included in the next steps, as discussions continue.

Fifa are set to announce the format for an expanded World Cup, which will now run in excess of 100 matches and including 48 nations, which will be hosted across USA, Mexico and Canada in 2026.

In December, FIFPRO called for a “better balance” in a new football calendar and stated a “different mentality” was paramount to look after the sport’s performers.

General secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann said at the time: “Unless we get to a negotiated solution between competition organisers, this problem will only continue.

“Top-level talent will not be available when the clubs and the countries actually need them, and players will almost be pushed into a situation where they have to choose where they can participate.

“It’s striking that it might come to this kind of scenario before we can come to a balanced solution. That shows what kind of problem we have in the governance of football these days.”