The Official Student-Run Newspaper of California High School

The Californian

The Official Student-Run Newspaper of California High School

The Californian

The Official Student-Run Newspaper of California High School

The Californian

Professional soccer season has too many games

Soccer players, or footballers as referred to by the rest of the world, are being overworked.
As a result, the quality of football is decreasing. And it’s only going to get worse.
The careers of stars are going to be shortened because they’re being overworked by FIFA, UEFA, and other football confederations, which are scheduling more games so they can make more money.
Their greed is shown by the expansion of the most popular football tournaments.
Starting next season, the UEFA Champions League will be expanded from the traditional 32 teams and group stage format to 36 teams with a longer format,
The next World Cup in 2026 is also being expanded from 32 to 48 teams, with an extra round of 32. There’s also the Club World Cup in 2025, which is being expanded from seven to 32 teams.
While many viewers may argue that players are already paid millions of dollars and should be expected to accommodate the extra games, in the long run the fans will suffer as more injuries are already contributing to their favorite players missing action earlier in the season.
Extra league cups also are completely unnecessary and should just be eliminated. Clubs and players in England don’t need to be playing in both a national and league cup.
All other big five leagues have stopped playing their league cups because they care about the health of their players.
There’s just an absurd amount of games to satisfy the fans, but it’s unfair to the players.
This large number of games are causing an unbelievable number of injuries, especially this season. This holiday season, the FA is making teams play eight-match weeks of football in five calendar weeks. This is in addition to league cup games.
This clearly shows why there’s about a 15 percent increase in injuries in the EPL, up to 196 injuries as of Nov. 20, according to the BBC.
New EPL rules and extra-long VAR checks are also requiring teams to play longer games in their club matches. New rules have been implemented this season to decrease time wasting and add more extra time to get a full 90 minutes of play.
Longer VAR checks also mean players stop for an extended amount of time, and then simply have to get back into the speed of the game after their muscles get cold. These are the perfect conditions for hamstring injuries, which have doubled from this time last season, according to FourFourTwo Sports.
In the Italian Serie A, there were about 75 players injured as of late November. That’s enough players to make almost seven whole starting 11’s. In the Spanish LaLiga, many young star players at Real Madrid and Barcelona are getting injured.
More injuries are also caused by the UEFA Nations League, the Euros, and Euro Qualifiers. The UEFA Nations League, created in 2018, is simply a useless tournament when the Euros already exist.
In the past, nations used to play friendlies during their international breaks, allowing teams a chance to try new tactics, formations and players. Now, there’s this unneeded importance of extra games affecting their nation’s FIFA rankings.
Managers are now pushed to play their strongest lineups, and stars are having to play 90+ minutes for both club and nation. Managers need to focus on more important competitions and rotate squads frequently to give stars players enough rest.
This is clearly resulting in a greater amount of injuries, which are also more severe. There were already 22 ACL injuries as of November, which is not normal. If FIFA, UEFA and FA keep prioritizing games over players’ well-being, it is going to be them who suffer.
Because of the almost 4,000 injuries that occurred last season, part of the blame also goes to the winter World Cup.
To preserve the beautiful game and its tradition, we need to roll back the clock.
We don’t need to have a league cup when there’s a national cup. We don’t need to expand the UCL and the World Cup. We don’t need the Nations League when there’s the Euros.
VAR checks also need to be quicker, and FIFA should allow more substitutes and larger squads to create more varied rotations that will provide more opportunities for players to rest.
We need to restore the beautiful game to its glory. If changes are not made soon, the game we love will pay the price.

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About the Contributor
Vihaan Tigadikar, Staff Writer
Vihaan Tigadikar joined newspaper as a photographer and a reporter this year. Vihaan is a sophomore and a water polo player. He plays for the Cal High team and his club 680 Drivers WP. Vihaan does many extracurriculars like Cal High Investment Club, Mock Trial, MUN, Science Bowl/Olympiad, and more. He hopes to major in astrophysics and theoretical particle physics at his dream colleges, UC Berkeley or Harvard. In his free time, Vihaan likes playing soccer & hanging out with his friends, playing FIFA with his brother, and watching science videos.

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