That’s not to say, that tournaments such as the UEFA European Championships or FIFA World Cup are not to go ahead, its just that with a period of hiatus eating into an already tight schedule, time is more of the essence than it has ever been before.

Which means, the next couple of years is earmarked for an abundance of world class football and although that is undoubtedly huge news for purveyors of the global game, it is not the greatest circumstances for those who matter most.

That’s because with a tighter schedule than ever before, the stress and strain that will be applied to the greatest names in the game will be far greater and it is this physical overload, which has FIFPro voicing their concerns.

The players union have warned that the current schedule up until the Qatar hosted 2022 edition of the World Cup is too strenuous and although the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Harry Kane will lead their nations through a relatively easy qualification path, their tanks may be empty when it matters.

Which is not what the crown jewel of the game either desires or deserves, as the last thing that FIFA will be aiming for, is a tournament where players are showing the effects of nearly 24 months of non-stop football.

While although FIFPro are right to voice such a warning, there is a sense of what can be done to resolve a problem of this kind and with the external pressures of club football also causing consternation, international football has to be careful not to be a forgotten party in all of this.

There is one way in which the club game can help and that is with the use of additional substitutes, something that was in operation at the tail end of last season’s post-restart phases and in a number of high-profile competitions at the beginning of this campaign.

However, the Premier League’s decision to revert back to the standard three from seven format, has once again become a talking point and with the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp leading the charge for change, they may just have shot themselves in the foot.

Because these two title hopefuls recently squared off at the Etihad and with the Spaniard making just one change in the 1-1 draw and his German counterpart making two, with one of those being enforced, they’ve arguably not added fuel to a fire that they’ve just started.

It’s slightly remiss to discuss player fatigue or the strain that star names will have to undergo, if you are then not utilising the whole quota of available substitutes come matchday and because of this the message from both Guardiola and Klopp loses an important amount of weight.

Weight that their household names will have to bare in this season and the next and although it is the club’s that pay their wages, those player still hope for international success across Europe next summer or two years down the line in the Middle East.

Which means, all FIFPro can do is lend a respectful voice to the conversation and although they have every right to publicise their fears regarding player fatigue, it may just have to be an unfortunate by-product of the current sporting climate that we find ourselves in.

Written by Dan Tracey

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