Chelsea star: FIFA Club World Cup ‘alarming’ amid injury crisis

KINGSTON UPON THAMES, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Hayley Raso of Everton and Magda Eriksson of Chelsea during the Vitality Women's FA Cup 5th Round match between Chelsea and Everton at Kingsmeadow on May 20, 2021 in Kingston upon Thames, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Chelsea’s Magda Eriksson isn’t celebrating the addition of a Club World Cup by FIFA just yet, citing a recent uptick in injuries in an op-ed for iNews.

Eriksson noted in the op-ed that she found it “alarming” that FIFA “did not consult the leagues or the players” despite the recent string of serious injuries to players like Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead.

“Instead, Fifa president Gianni Infantino just announced it out of the blue,” she wrote.

The announcement also came the day after Miedema left the field for Arsenal in tears, an injury that was later announced to be an ACL tear. Her injury, alongside Mead’s less than a month earlier, “only accentuates the need to give more serious thought to player welfare in the women’s game,” Erikkson writes.

“Fifpro, the players’ union, were right to complain about the lack of consultation,” she says. “I’m all for new ideas but you have to think about the players. If you just add more and more games, there’ll come a time when it just becomes too much.”

While the Swedish defender would be excited to play some of the best teams from other leagues, she argues that FIFA should have consulted with the players union. She also reflects on her own experience following the Euros and attempting to cope not only with the loss but how the tournament affected her body when she returned to her club team.

“When I went back into Chelsea, I had issues with tendinopathy – inflammation in my hamstring and achilles, which is the product of overloading,” she writes. “Every footballer has it somewhere once they reach a certain age, yet it was clear to me my body was struggling.”

Some of her teammates, she says, “are still feeling fatigued from the Euro.”

A two week break like that between the Euros tournament and the beginning of the Women’s Super League season, she notes, isn’t enough for players to recover.

“Next year’s World Cup will start on 20 July and end on 20 August,” she says. “It means you get a few weeks off before the tournament but you end up wanting to stay fit and doing some training on your own. It’s afterwards when you need the break and, as I’ve mentioned above, I don’t think two weeks is enough.

“This is the personal cost that players face and it’s sad to see a loved one like that – yet another reason, therefore, why I feel so passionate about protecting my fellow players.”