Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois has hit out at UEFA and football’s governing bodies, accusing them of not caring about players’ welfare with an increasingly packed football calendar.
The Belgian goalkeeper had questioned the purpose of a third-place playoff in the Nations League before the Red Devils went on to lose 2-1 to Italy at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday, and he didn’t bite his tongue after the game, accusing FIFA and UEFA of only caring about money.
“It’s just a money game and we have to be honest about it,” Courtois said after the game in Turin on Sunday. “We only played this game because, for UEFA, it’s extra money and an extra game on TV.
“Okay, it’s a good game for us because it’s against Italy and for Italy it’s a good game because it’s against Belgium. Of course everybody says they wanted to play the game, but look at both teams and how much they changed [players]. If both teams had been in the final, there would have been other players playing so this shows that we play too many games.
“In June there are four Nations League games. Why? Next year we’ve to play a World Cup in November and we’ll have to play until the latter stages of June again.
“We’ll get injured. Nobody cares about the players anymore. After a long season, you have to play more games in the Nations League again and you’ll have two weeks of holidays, and that’s not enough for players to go for 12 months at the highest level.
“If we never say anything it’s always the same. Then there’s the Super League, but it’s just the same thing with extra games and another trophy with the Conference Cup or whatever the name is. It’s always the same.
“They can be angry about teams wanting the Super League, but they don’t care about the players they only care about their pockets and that’s the bad thing. You hear that now they want to have a European Championship or a World Cup every year, but when will we rest? Never.
“Players will just get injured, and injured, and injured. Then that’s the end of it. It has to be better and taken care of more. We’re not robots. It’s just more games, less rest, and nobody cares about us.”