Vivian Medema called on the football authorities to pay attention to the game schedule.

Vivian Medema has called on football officials to address a congested domestic and international game schedule after being granted a leave of absence in November for rest and recovery purposes.

Medema missed two of the Netherlands’ Euro 2022 group matches after testing positive for Covid-19 and was confined to bed for 10 days with symptoms. She returned to club action with Arsenal in September, but admitted she was ‘physically and mentally not ready to play’.

Both Jonas Eidevall and Emma Hayes have highlighted the frequency and lack of freshness of international breaks in the women’s football calendar as contributing to the current mountain of injuries in the game. There have been three international windows since the end of Euro 2022, while players competing at the Olympics face five consecutive summers of playing at a major tournament.

“As a player you want to play in big tournaments, the difference is we have more international windows in women’s football,” Medema said.

“We play the Olympics with our A team instead of under-23s, I think that’s something that FIFPRO and FIFA need to start looking at. If they want to make the calendar like men’s, we have six There can be no international windows while men have four.

“We don’t have the same number of men in any of the squads. If you look at Man City’s men’s team, they have 22 to 23 first-team players, we have 18 to 19. Listening to them is our players. There needs to be a start and not just making decisions based on money or popularity or marketing. We have to try to reach a solution.

“We need to start protecting the players, people will come to the Emirates to watch Leah (Williamson) play and Kim Little play and Beth (Mead) play and I think we need to start realizing that the players Safety and security are paramount. thing.”

Medema missed Arsenal’s victory over Leicester and the Netherlands’ November international camp and spent time in Australia during his break. He has scored in consecutive matches since his return and has called on other clubs to be open to giving players time if needed.

“As a player I was in a fortunate position at a club like Arsenal, I also think that my name and my experience in the game helped me,” Medema said himself. Coaches of national teams and club football need to be a bit more aware of this and instigate it themselves.

“But I hope that taking my time off will be good for the few players who don’t feel confident enough to take a break and not be embarrassed about needing it. It’s been so non-stop the last couple of years.”

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