Brazilian Football Players Revolt Over Packed 2014 Schedule Including World Cup
A group of 75 players from Brazil’s top two football leagues "are complaining that their health is at risk because their clubs’ schedules next season will be compressed to accommodate the World Cup," according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG. The group, which includes well-known players including Alexandre Pato of Corinthians, Vasco da Gama’s Juninho Pernambucano and Luis Fabiano of Sao Paulo, "wrote to the sport’s governing body following the publication of a schedule that will have fewer rest days for Brazilian teams." Flamengo defender Leo Moura said, "The first main goal is the health of every athlete and concern for Brazilian football. With this marathon of games it’s impossible for a human being to maintain the level of excellence and quality to play good football" (BLOOMBERG, 9/24). XINHUA reported the Fenapaf players' union said Tuesday that "it would ask its members to boycott the final two rounds of the season to protest against the crowded draw." Fenapaf President Alfredo Sampaio said, "I am preparing and will later forward the proposal to all of the players. They have to have consciousness and courage, if not nothing will change. We can't allow this to continue." The "season lasts for more than 10 months a year to accommodate state championships, the national league, the Brazil Cup and continental tournaments." Next year's fixture list "is even more crammed to accommodate for the World Cup, which will halt all local competitions from early June to mid July" (XINHUA, 9/25).