Ian Baraclough: Northern Ireland manager urges UEFA and FIFA to find solution to player burnout | football news

Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough has urged UEFA and FIFA to find a solution to the international football schedule or put players’ health at risk.

Baraclough, without 11 top-ranking players for upcoming Nations League games against Greece, Cyprus and Kosovo, was aiming for European football’s governing body to schedule four games in June.

Corry Evans, Josh Magennis and Craig Cathcart are among those who Baraclough says are burned out and need rest to heal from injuries. Jamal Lewis and Shane Ferguson are also on the absentee list, while Jordan Thompson and Daniel Ballard are doubtful despite being included in the squad.

The former Motherwell boss agrees with recent comments from PFA boss Maheta Molango, who said football has “sleepwalked into a crisis” with the demands of the schedule.

said Baraclow Sky sports news: “Back-to-back seasons like during the Covid period – people forget that very little time has passed from the end of last season to the start of the season.

“The demands on players are increasing. Whether it’s UEFA or FIFA, they have to look at the situation. If you ask players to go through a 12-month cycle, it’s just not possible, and you find a Many of these injuries are fatigue injuries.

“I know the chief executive of the PFA came out and said we have to look after these players because they can’t continue without a break.

“FIFPRO has also conducted studies on this and club managers are right to be concerned about their players who then go on to international duty after a heavy workload throughout the season.”

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Highlights of the international match between Luxembourg and Northern Ireland

Highlighting Jordan Henderson’s departure from the England squad, Baraclough says smaller nations like Northern Ireland are suffering more. He also believes it is wrong for players like Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to address 70 games for the season.

He added: “Players like Mo Salah and Sadio Mane in Liverpool, for example, could reach almost 70 games and it’s not just the best, best players who are asked to play a lot of games, it’s at all levels now.

“Four Nations League games in June were always a difficult task for us. You also want to request your biggest and best players. We have nine absences to deal with that could potentially be in this squad. We don’t have that and quite a few are tired injuries.

Promising Man City youngster Shea Charles is one of four players to make their senior squad for the first time, alongside Rangers midfielder Charlie McCann, Huddersfield’s Brodie Spencer and Glentoran winger Conor McMenamin.

Thirteen of the 28-man squad have five caps or fewer but they are bolstered by the addition of experienced duo Steven Davis and Jonny Evans and the return of Kyle Lafferty.

Meanwhile, Baraclough has spoken with Leeds boss Jesse Marsch about inviting the ‘popular’ Stuart Dallas to be part of the upcoming squads to help train the younger players.

He also confirmed Davis’ quality and urged Rangers to offer his captain a new contract.

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