Eidevall underlines “human need” for player rest as fixture calendar grows

Ahead of tonight’s UEFA Champions League tie at FC Zürich, Impetus’ Nathan Edwards was in Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall‘s media conference and reports on the Swede’s views on the need for player welfare with the women’s calendar looking set to grow further (21/12/22).

Above: Arsenal players come together. Head coach Jonas Eidevall believes that player welfare is more important than ever. Photo: UEFA.

Jonas Eidevall said it is a “human need” to give players time off in the season, as Arsenal travel to Zurich for their Champions League clash, without Vivienne Miedema and Beth Mead, due to ACL injuries.

FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, announced that the women’s game will be given a new Club World Cup tournament, which is set to debut in 2025.

This announcement comes following multiple high-level footballers within the women’s game have picked up serious injuries, including Arsenal’s striking duo.

Eidevall said about the fixture schedule, “when you look at a 12-month period you need to give the players a certain amount of time off. It is a human need,

“They need holidays in order to recharge and refresh and I think the scheduling needs to look at that so you can guarantee the players get some time off, and then I think we will be fine.”

Above: Vivianne Miedema lies on the pitch after rupturing her ACL last week. An even more congested calendar could well lead to a further increase in similar injuries. Photo: David Price.

This season has also been sandwiched between two major international competitions, with the European Championship ending in July 2022 and the Women’s World Cup commencing once the season ends.

The Arsenal boss gave a recommendation on how they can tweak the calendar in order to help the players.

He said, “The problem is when you have so many tournaments in a row, the players don’t have anytime off, and why don’t they have any time off?

“Because we finish the season in May and then the competition (World Cup) will start in July or August.

“The national teams say they need to prepare for the tournament and bring the players in after their two-week vacation and have camps that last six weeks leading up to the tournament.

“Once the competition is done, club football needs to come back and play straight away, just look at Manchester City having to play Real Madrid so quickly after the Euros in the Champions League qualifiers.

“The players get no time off. So, either the players get time off before the tournament or schedule the tournament earlier in the summer, allowing players to have a gap after the competition in the summer. I can’t see that being that hard but that is the solution.”

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