Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has criticised FIFA and UEFA for treating players like “robots” and for prioritising revenue over player welfare.
Courtois was speaking after Belgium lost 2-1 to Italy in the UEFA Nations League third-place play-off.
He had described the match in the build-up as “pointless” and went even further afterwards as both teams rotated heavily and Belgium were unable to call upon Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku due to muscle fatigue.
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"This game is just a money game and we have to be honest about it," said Courtois.
"We just play it because for UEFA it's extra money. Look at how much both teams changed [line-ups]. If both teams would have been in the final there would have been other players in the final playing.
This just shows that we play too many games. We are not robots. It’s just more and more games and less rest for us and nobody cares about us. When will we get a rest? Never."
The calendar has been squeezed over the last 18 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic and there is no let-up on the horizon.
The 2022 World Cup will take place in the middle of the European season in December and FIFA’s head of Global Football Development, Arsene Wenger, has proposed ideas for a biennial World Cup.
“Next year we have a World Cup in November, we have to play maybe until the latter stages of June again. We will get injured,” continued Courtois.
“So in the end top players will get injured and injured and injured. It’s something that should be much better and much more taken care of.
“They are against Super League but they just do the same, they put extra games. They made an extra trophy. It is always the same. They can be angry about other teams wanting a Super League but they don’t care about the players, they just care about their pockets.
“Three weeks of holiday is not enough for players to be able to continue for 12 months at the highest level. If we never say anything it [will be] always the same."
France were crowned Nations League champions after coming from behind to beat Spain in controversial fashion.
UEFA Nations League - Finals
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