The cramped international schedule has been causing problems for months, causing players to suffer unnecessary injuries and burnout. Now, with national teams forced to squeeze three matches into a two-week break to makeup for cancelled matches in March, the problems are growing further. According to Kicker, three Bayer Leverkusen players: Charles Aranguiz, Exequiel Palacios, and Piero Hincapie, will miss Die Werkself’s upcoming match against Borussia Dortmund. This is because they play two games all the way in South America less than 48 hours before the Bundesliga match is scheduled to kick off on Saturday. As a result, Leverkusen’s CEO Rudi Völler has requested that the DFB move the game to Sunday to accommodate Leverkusen’s players returning from their obligations in South America.
This situation is yet another instance of international football interfering with club competitions. It’s a bad enough risk that players risk injury, travel fatigue, and potential exposure to COVID when they fulfill their international duties, but now it’s limiting various players’ match availability as well. We’ve already seen the English FA restrict its players from traveling to certain COVID-stricken countries to avoid having their players sit through quarantine. Perhaps in the future even more restrictive measures will be taken.