Fifa plans to expand the Club World Cup to a 32-team tournament from 2025The Professional Footballers’ Association is exploring options to take legal action over the growing number of games in the football calendar.
The PFA believes last week’s European Court of Justice ruling, which appeared to reduce the ability of governing bodies to impose changes to the calendar, opens up the potential for action.
It wants to stop its members being forced to commit to matches in an increasingly congested schedule.
While discussions are at their early stages, the PFA is trying to establish the legal position around the obligation players have to make themselves available for certain competitions and how these are protected and enforced under the current system, and whether they are appropriate when set against player welfare concerns.
Next season the Champions League and Europa League will expand to 36 teams in what is currently the group stage, when there will be eight matches rather than the current six.
The sides finishing between ninth and 24th in the expanded table must come through a two-legged play-off to reach the last 16.
In addition, the campaign will be followed by a 32-team Club World Cup, for which Premier League duo Chelsea and Manchester City have already qualified.
The 2025-26 campaign will be followed by a 48-team World Cup, which will include a last-32 tie.
Most Premier League managers have voiced their opposition to the growing number of games, with Burnley boss Vincent Kompany saying in September there should be a 60-match cap for each player.
About the same time, Kompany’s former boss at Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, said it was only when players took action themselves that football’s authorities would start to listen to their complaints.
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