Players' chief Schwab unhappy with Melbourne Victory schedule
Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) chief Brendan Schwab does not agree with the fact the Melbourne Victory have to fly out straight after Saturday night's Grand Final and then have only 48 hours to prepare for an Asian Champions League match in Japan.
Speaking at the announcement of the PFA A-League Team of the Season yesterday, Schwab was asked what he thought about the tight scheduling for the Victory and from a players point of view, he did not agree.
"It's unacceptable, the fact is that players are being asked to travel on nine to 15-hour flights and play games with a 48-hour break,'' Schwab said.
"It's inevitable that a player will be seriously injured in those circumstances and it's also inevitable that the quality of the competition will be compromised.
"With long haul flights and a 48-hour break between games, the science says that's placing players in a dangerous situation.
"Scheduling is going to be one of the biggest issues that we face. We think there's got to be great respect for the international match calendar," he added.
"We obviously have difficulties with the Asian Football Confederation on achieving that. But the guiding principle has to be quality.
"The fans are entitled to see the best players play in every game."
The Victory will be required to board a flight just hours after their clash with Sydney FC at Etihad Stadium and are expected in Japan at 2pm on Sunday. They will then have just over 48 hours to get ready for their must-win ACL group stage clash with J-League outfit Kawasaki Frontale at the Todoroki Stadium.