Jamie Carragher hits out at FIFA’s ‘RIDICULOUS’ idea to launch a 32-team Club World Cup and claims players are being ‘treated like cattle’ amid fears over burnout – as he urges European clubs to boycott the new tournament
Jamie Carragher has hit out at FIFA and president Gianni Infantino over their plans to launch a 32-team Club World Cup in 2025, saying players are ‘being treated like cattle’ over fears of burnout.
Infantino revealed the controversial proposals on Friday as FIFA look to compete with UEFA’s Champions League in a move that will not go down well with the top clubs in European football.
Jamie Carragher has hit out at FIFA and president Gianni Infantino for his ‘ridiculous’ plans for a 32-team Club World Cup
And Jamie Carragher made it clear he was not a fan of the idea – hitting out at Infantino, saying he had come up with another ‘ridiculous’ idea after recently discussing the possibility of a World Cup every two years.
‘Like the ridiculous idea of the @FIFAWorldCup every two years, this is another one from Infantino,’ he wrote on Twitter – as he stressed the need for players to have more recovery time.
‘Players need rest at some point, they are getting treated like cattle. FIFA hate the Champions League and want something similar themselves.
‘European clubs should boycott it.’
In his lengthy press conference, Infantino stressed FIFA were prioritising player welfare despite their plans for expansions and new tournaments, increasing fears over the prospect of burnout and exhaustion.
Chelsea are the current reigning champions of the FIFA Club World Cup after they beat Palmeiras in February
Carragher fears players are being ‘treated like cattle’ and wants clubs to boycott the new competition in 2025
‘We have to take into consideration the health and wellbeing of players,’ he added. ‘We need to ensure there is a rest period for players, a holiday period, ideally 72 hours between games. Of course we need to be pragmatic on these topics. We will now consult on all these topics and elaborate.’
Infantino did not offer any further details about the rebooted Club World Cup after the bombshell announcement other than claiming it will feature eight more teams than the 24-team version that was cancelled in 2021.
‘It will be a Club World Cup of 32 teams, every four years, and the first edition will be summer of 2025,’ he said. ‘They will be the best teams in the world invited to participate.’
Europe’s top clubs have yet to see any formal proposals for the 32-team Club World Cup which FIFA intend to launch in 2025.
The leading clubs and league’s have major concerns about scheduling, the international calendar and player burnout which they want to be addressed before signing up to the new competition.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters outlined his opposition to radical changes to the international calendar last year, a view shared by top clubs throughout Europe.
Infantino claimed FIFA are prioritising player welfare despite their controversial plans
‘The Premier League is committed to preventing any radical changes to the calendar that would adversely affect player welfare and threaten the competitiveness, calendar, structures and traditions of domestic football,’ Masters said.
‘This process should also involve meaningful agreements with the leagues that provide the foundations for the game.’
Infantino’s bold move in announcing a new competition before reaching agreement with the clubs is a well-worn tactic, which he also deployed in relation to the women’s game by saying a Club World Cup would also begin in 2025.