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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Maheta Molango: Too many games means players are becoming machines says PFA chief executive

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Maheta Molango
Former Brighton striker Maheta Molango replaced Gordon Taylor as PFA chief executive

Players are being viewed more like machines than human beings when it comes to the amount of games they are expected to play, Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Maheta Molango says.

With league and cup games, many clubs can often have three games a week.

Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City played 61 games in all competitions last season.

“This is not a shoe factory,” Molango told Football Focus.

“You’re talking about human beings and sometimes I get the feeling that we are moving in the direction that footballers are just machines and they are not.”

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp have both spoken out previously about the volume of games their players are expected to play.

Klopp has long been vocal on the issue, calling for a mid-season break as far back as 2015.

Last year, he sent a young team to play in an FA Cup replay with Shrewsbury to give his first-team players a rest.

Molango, who became PFA chief executive in June, believes there should be a limit to the number of games a footballer can play in a season to avoid burnout.

“I find it astonishing that the players are always the last to find out, so we do a schedule and then we say to them go and play,” he added.

“They are the ones who need to produce the best show so the question is how many games can a human being play at the top level?

“What’s the maximum number of games? OK then, let’s work backwards to build a schedule to ensure that the stars of the show can give the best versions on the pitch.”

In a wide-ranging interview on Football Focus, Molango also spoke about how the PFA is looking to approach issues such as dementia in football, racism and online abuse.

Watch the full interview on Football Focus on BBC One, Saturday, 20 November at 12:00 GMT and on BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and app.

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