FIFA warned players could go on strike

Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Maheta Molango believes players are now at breaking point.

The PFA has been calling for action to alter the congested football calendar, especially with the expanded 32-team Club World Cup proposed for next summer.

“I can tell you a situation not even 10 days ago where I went to a dressing room directly affected and I said: ‘I’m happy to be here and bark a bit but ultimately it’s down to you. How far would you like to go?” said Molango, speaking at the PFA and world players’ union Fifpro’s end-of-season review of player workload and recovery.

“Some of them said: ‘I’m not having it, we may as well strike.’ Some said: ‘what’s the point? Yes I’m a millionaire but I don’t even have time to spend the money’.

“It’s not even the union who has said it, it has been Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. We have reached a point where we cannot discount any action.”

In a letter addressed to Fifa president Gianni Infantino and general secretary Mattias Grafstrom, seen by BBC Sport, Fifpro and the World Leagues Association say if Fifa extends its own competitions then it should alter others.

It adds that “imposing the burden of adaptation on national leagues and players is inherently abusive” and is “jeopardising national leagues and affecting the health and wellbeing of players”.

However, BBC Sport understands Fifa believes it has taken into account player welfare with their scheduling programme

Molango added: “Some of the changes in England with the domestic calendar is forced by what Fifa and Uefa have done. What has happened, even further confirmation something has to be done but also that it’s not affecting just the top players.

“We will always try to exhaust all diplomatic avenues, we have sent a letter, we have received an answer but unfortunately time is against us.

“Sometimes between grown up people, despite trying very hard to find solutions you need a third party to decide, maybe an arbitrator or a tribunal.”

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