Thibaut Courtois slams FIFA & UEFA over football schedule after Nations League defeat


Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has criticised football's governing bodies, accusing them of prioritising money over player welfare after the UEFA Nations League came to an end.

The Real Madrid shot-stopper hit out at authorities in a scathing assessment of the current football calendar following Belgium's 2-1 defeat to Italy in Sunday's third-place play-off.

Courtois, 29, described the match as "pointless" in the build-up, and doubled down on his comments afterwards.

Belgium were without Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard due to muscle fatigue while Italy also made changes to their starting line-up.

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Courtois criticised FIFA and UEFA

"This game is just a money game and we have to be honest about it," former Chelsea goalkeeper Courtois said in his post-match interview.

"We just play it because for UEFA it's extra money."


Courtois added: "Look at how much both teams changed [line-ups]. If both teams would have been in the final there would have been other players in the final playing.

"This just shows that we play too many games."

Courtois: 'They don't care about the players'

Courtois also criticised FIFA's proposals to stage the World Cup finals every two years instead of every four.

Under the plans, devised by FIFA's head of global development Arsene Wenger, major tournaments would be staged every summer and there would be fewer qualifying games.

"They [UEFA] made an extra trophy [UEFA Conference League]… it is always the same," Courtois said.

"They can be angry about other teams wanting a Super League but they don't care about the players, they just care about their pockets.

"It's a bad thing that players are not spoken about. And now you hear about a European Championship and a World Cup every year, when will we get a rest? Never."


Courtois predicts more injuries

The goalkeeper predicts more and more injuries if the calendar doesn't begin to ease on players.

"So in the end top players will get injured and injured and injured. It's something that should be much better and much more taken care of," Courtois, a two-time Premier League winner, added.

"We are not robots! It's just more and more games and less rest for us and nobody cares about us.


"Next year we have a World Cup in November, we have to play until the latter stages of June again. We will get injured! Nobody cares about the players anymore.

"Three weeks of holiday is not enough for players to be able to continue for 12 months at the highest level. If we never say anything it [will be] always the same."

Courtois' comments sparked an instant reaction on social media, with Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher agreeing with him.

"Brilliant interview @thibautcourtois everything he says is right, especially about 3rd place play offs in tournaments, an absolute waste of time those games," Carragher tweeted.


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