A group of Brazil-based footballers including Alexandre Pato, Juninho and Luis Fabiano are concerned about the rigours of the domestic club schedule during the build-up to the 2014 World Cup.
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The group, which totals 75 players from Brazil’s top two leagues, have claimed in a letter to daily newspaper O Globo that their health will be put at risk because of the packed club schedule.
They are reported to have said: “We believe that taking this first step means moving toward professionalism, transparency and the pursuit of excellence in soccer. We have the support of other athletes and invite all professional football and those passionate about the sport to join us.”
The players’ concerns follow the publication of a schedule which shows Brazilian teams to have fewer days rest in the World Cup year.
However, a spokesman for the Confederacao Brasileira de Futebol (CBF) responded by saying that a letter is yet to be received.
The amount of matches played by Brazilian teams is already a contentious issue, with competitions including state championships, the domestic cup and South American regional competitions such as the Copa Libertadores.
Flamengo defender Leo Moura told O Globo: “The first main goal is the health of every athlete and concern for Brazilian football. With this marathon of games it’s impossible for a human being to maintain the level of excellence and quality to play good football.”
Newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reports that the players have drawn up a compromise proposal in which they will not be required to play more than seven games a month.
The report added that players would like their domestic season to run alongside that of the European leagues from August to May.