McCabe: 'Football chiefs need to find solution to calendar congestion issue'

McCabe: 'Football chiefs need to find solution to calendar congestion issue'

Republic of Ireland captain Katie McCabe has called on the bosses of the top football organisations to find a solution to the fixture congestion issue that now exists in football.

Football is forever on television in some format, and there is usually an international tournament that follows the domestic season. Players are now being asked to play every two or three days, which hampers recovery time and performance.

Players like Manchester United defender Raphaël Varane are among those who have voiced their concerns about the number of games being played.

“From the managers and players, we have shared our concerns for many years now that there are too many games, the schedule is overcrowded, and it’s at a dangerous level for players' physical and mental well-being,” Varane said last summer on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

Jurgen Klopp also believes that fewer games are better for players and has voiced his concerns on more than one occasion.

“When I speak about player welfare, I speak about it in general. We have too many competitions and too many games in general now, but having three or four minutes of more ball in play, I can see it now. It will make a massive difference," added Klopp in August.

Katie McCabe of Arsenal passes the ball whilst under pressure from Lauren Hemp of Manchester City during the Barclays Women´s Super League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester City at Meadow Park on November 05, 2023 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images)

This doesn't just affect the men's game; the women's game also suffers from it. A number of ACL injuries have occurred over the years, and some put that down to the scheduling of games.

This weekend, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur will play in the women's North London derby. McCabe feels players need to be managed and protected by football's governing bodies to be able to perform at their best and put on a show for the huge crowds that come to games.

“I think for us to be playing at our best and to be giving those record crowds good games to watch, we need to be fresh," the Dublin native said.

“With the FIFA window, and obviously the Euro qualifiers window, it’s incredible how they’ve moved an international camp in the middle of summer and thought that was a good idea.

“It’s difficult. Obviously, we are footballers; we want to be able to play the games, but we also want to feel that freshness going into it as well. It’s really difficult for us, but we obviously need to keep going.

"Unfortunately, it’s not in our power as players; we want the governing bodies to listen to us and to make sure there’s change with that as well because it’s not going to be solved in the way it’s being solved right now.”

The game between Arsenal and Spurs kicks off at 12:30 on Sunday.