United defender Varane says players ignored over 'dangerous' added time rules

AFP , Monday 7 Aug 2023

Manchester United defender Raphael Varane said on Monday that players' views have been ignored on new guidelines that will see more time added on at the end of matches.

Varane
Manchester United s Raphael Varane (left)has criticised new guidelines that will extend the length of matches (AFP)

Competitions around the world have been instructed to more accurately calculate time lost to stoppages this season, including goal celebrations and VAR checks.

Football's lawmakers IFAB said in March that the approach to calculating added time was "positively received" when it was first tested at the men's World Cup in Qatar last year and would be rolled out worldwide.

Arsenal equalised in the 11th of 13 added minutes at the end of Sunday's Community Shield against Manchester City and went on to win on penalties.

City manager Pep Guardiola criticised the move for putting extra strain on players as he mocked the "big brain guys who decide these things."

Guardiola has been backed up from the other side of the Manchester divide as Varane said players were not being listened to.

"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," the Frenchman posted on social media.

"Despite our previous feedbacks, they have now recommended for next season: longer games, more intensity, and less emotions to be shown by players.

"We just want to be in good condition on the pitch to give 100 percent to our club and fans. Why are our opinions not being heard?"

Varane retired from international football at the age of 29 earlier this year, likening the slog of the top-level game to being in the cycle of a washing machine.

The new guidelines on added time have been introduced to tackle time-wasting and increase effective playing time.

However, the impact of the extra added time on players over a sustained period has already been highlighted by global union FIFPRO, which reported earlier this year that the changes would amount to the equivalent of up to three extra games per season for players with the highest existing workloads.

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