PFA join legal case against FIFA over ‘broken’ calendar ahead of next year’s expanded Club World Cup, amid fears player concerns with their increasing workloads are ‘not being listened to’

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The PFA has joined a legal case against FIFA over the ‘overloaded and unworkable’ calendar.

Officials say they are seeking to challenge existing rules that allow FIFA to set the schedule and ‘in particular to create and schedule the Club World Cup in 2025’.

There are set to be 12 European clubs at the vastly expanded competition, which is due to be held in the United States from June 13 to July 15. Such a move would pile onto the workload and ensure those involved see their end of season breaks decimated.

The PFA have joined their French counterparts and are supported by Europe-wide union FIFPRO. They want the claim to be referred to the European Court of Justice who would then make a ruling on a number of footballers’ rights, including that to take annual leave.

The ECJ could then send the case to court in Belgium for a final ruling which the PFA says ‘could have significant and far-reaching impact on the way the football calendar is structured’.

A legal case has been brought forward against FIFA over the ‘broken’ calendar

The PFA have joined the case against FIFA, with chief executive Maheta Molango (pictured) looking to protect players amid increasing workloads

The PFA have joined the case against FIFA, with chief executive Maheta Molango (pictured) looking to protect players amid increasing workloads

PFA chief executive Maheta Molango said: ‘This is an important moment for players and for their rights as employees. Everyone across football knows that the fixture calendar is broken to the point that it has now become unworkable. 

‘The most in-demand players are now part of an endless schedule of games and competitions for club and country, with their limits constantly being pushed through expansion and the creation of new competitions. 

‘I am constantly told by those members that what they want is a properly protected break where they can rest and recharge. Those who run the game know this. We have made sure they have heard it directly from players, but nothing has been done.’

Molango also took a swipe at FIFA bosses. ‘Too many within football act like it is exempt from the normal requirements of employers and employees,’ he added. ‘Players are not being listened to and they want to see action. As their union, we have a duty to intervene and to enforce their legal rights as employees. Ultimately, that time has now come.’

The PFA say that for those who play internationally for club and country next season would ‘roll seamlessly’ into the following one with no break.