Players’ union sue FIFA over Club World Cup scheduling

The players’ union has taken legal action against the world football organising body, FIFA, over the scheduling of the revamped Club World Cup.

The expanded competition will feature 32 teams globally, including 12 from Europe. It is set to begin on June 15th and conclude a month later, leaving less than a month before the start of the new season for the winners.

Daily Sun gathered that FIFPro, the international players’ union, had previously warned FIFA that they would consider legal action if reforms were not implemented, a demand FIFA categorically refused. As reported by ESPN, FIFPro’s member organisations in England (PFA) and France (UNFP) have challenged the legality of FIFA’s right to unilaterally form the international match calendar and schedule the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup.

Their statement asserts that “Player unions believe that these decisions violate the rights of players and their unions under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights while also potentially violating EU competition law.”

The statement further describes the current football calendar as “beyond saturation.” However, FIFA has rejected claims that it manipulated the calendar to prioritise its competitions.

Players have been vocal about the congested calendar in the past year, most notably Toni Kroos and Thibaut Courtois. Courtois suffered a major injury at the start of this season. Notably, over the past two seasons, not a single El Clasico match featured both Real Madrid and Barcelona with their full-strength starting lineups.

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