It isn’t news that players are playing too much football.
Liverpool’s internationals played close to 11 months of football last season, with their international fixtures not finishing until mid-June.
The last campaign was extended because of the Qatar World Cup, but FIFA’s new Club World Cup, as well as UEFA’s reformatted Champions League, will still add to the burden on players’ bodies in the coming years.
Speaking on the Front Office Sports podcast, Masters said: “The demands on that top strata of players is growing and I think basically they are maxed out.
“We have to protect our players and we have to ensure that the balance between domestic football and international football, or regional football, European football in the case of our clubs, is maintained.”
Masters also revealed that there is a tension between FIFA and domestic leagues due to the organisation’s ability to introduce new fixtures, such as an expanded World Cup and Club World Cup.
The CEO said: “The Club World Cup in 2025 is a brand new concept.
He continued: “If the question is ‘Can we sort it out?’, then the answer is ‘no’.
“Domestic leagues don’t really have a seat at the table, it is a federal system…
“We have our own lobbying groups. We have the European Leagues, the World Leagues Forum, which I chair. We talk about these issues and we feel that domestic football is the centrepiece of world football.
“The World Cup is a brilliant competition, but the balance between all those different things, it is FIFA’s responsibility to ensure that it all remains and we don’t feel like we get a proper seat at the table.”
As Masters eludes to, there is a lack of cooperation between the various bodies that govern football, leading to them each declaring their own competitions with little coordination.
If this doesn’t change, players will suffer more and more injuries and, ultimately, FIFA’s ‘product’ may become damaged.