By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A host of top players in Brazil have signed a petition against the Brazilian Football Confederation’s (CBF) proposed changes to the 2014 football calendar. This comes just one week after Brazil’s soccer authority revealed players would only receive four days of holiday time between the end of the Campeonato Brasileiro and pre-season training for the following year.
The CBF claimed the move was necessary to accommodate the 2014 World Cup, when domestic football will stop for a whole month. However, players are finally taking a stand against, what they have deemed, an already packed schedule.
The Brazilian season lasts eleven months in comparison to the European season which lasts nine. Therefore, the pre-season is an integral part of a club’s preparation period for the long hard slog of competing in state championships, national championships, Copa do Brasil and continental tournaments.
The petition has been signed by some of the biggest names in Brazil and representatives from all four Rio soccer clubs have added their names. Fluminense’s Rafael Sóbis, Flamengo’s Elias, Jefferson of Botafogo and Juninho Pernambucano of Vasco have all signed the petition.
At the time of writing, there were over 75 names on the list that will be presented to the CBF. The soccer authority’s President, José Maria Marin, will be forced to listen to the complaints of the athletes who fear their bodies are being run into the ground by overexertion. Marin, who has recently kept a lower profile, could be part of a much-needed shake up of the Brazilian football calendar.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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