Benson Kipruto of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the men’s division of the 125th Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., October 11, 2021. REUTERS

Belgium and Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has launched a scathing criticism of Uefa and Fifa for scheduling more and more matches at the expense of player welfare.

Courtois hit out at the growing football calendar after his side’s 2-1 defeat by Italy in the Uefa Nations’ League third-place playoff, labelling the match, in which both teams rotated their squads, a “money game”.

“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,” Courtois said.

The football calendar has been squeezed in the last 18 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the Champions League and many of the continent’s top leagues taking place in shorter spaces of time but with the same amount of matches.

The European Championship and Copa America were both held at the end of the gruelling season and there is to be no let up in the near future.

Next year’s World Cup takes place between November and December — in the middle of the club season — while the Nations League finals will be held in June 2023.

Fifa, meanwhile, wishes to hold an expanded Club World Cup.


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