‘This can never happen again’: Jamie Carragher doubles down on his Qatar World Cup criticism by claiming players are being treated like ‘CATTLE’ by football chiefs as injuries pile up – and insists he would not blame stars for ‘saving themselves’ now
- Jamie Carragher has once again criticised the mid-season timing of World Cup
- Qatar tournament gets underway on November 20 as club season pauses
- It comes after injury blows to Raphael Varane, Son Heung-min and Ben Chilwell
- Several other players have also picked up problems that will rule the out
- Carragher said modern-day players are treated like ‘cattle’ amid hectic calendar
- Liverpool legend said he wouldn’t blame players for holding back for their clubs
- Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates
Jamie Carragher has once again slammed the timing of the Qatar World Cup, saying players are being treated like ‘cattle’ after several suffered devastating injury blows.
Raphael Varane, Ben Chilwell and Son Heung-min are among Premier League stars who could miss the tournament after picking up injuries in recent days.
Former England defender Carragher said a mid-season World Cup must never happen again and that he wouldn’t blame players for ‘saving themselves’ in the handful of club games before the action begins in Qatar.
Manchester United defender Raphael Varane was left in tears after suffering a thigh muscle injury that could jeopardise his World Cup campaign with France this month
South Korean star Son Heung-min needs surgery on an eye fracture after taking a blow to the face in Tottenham’s Champions League game against Marseille
Jamie Carragher has slammed the mid-season timing of the World Cup in Qatar, saying players are being treated like ‘cattle’
It came after Carragher described the timing of this World Cup as ‘disgusting’ after South Korea and Tottenham forward Son went off with a fractured eye socket in midweek.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Carragher said: ‘You have to hand it to FIFA. We are now seeing how the absurd decision of a winter World Cup has succeeded in compromising every major football competition this season, including their own showpiece event.
‘No-one should wish it, but there would almost be a perverse sense of justice if the next two weeks sees one world-class player after another suffer minor muscle injuries ruling them out of Qatar.
‘Would those who voted for the mid-season World Cup feel any responsibility? Of course not. To them, elite footballers are like cattle. They get very well paid and should get on with it, regardless of the psychological and physical consequences.’
The Sky Sports pundit said it was ‘disgusting that players are being put in such a position’ and they are ‘vulnerable’ to injuries amid a hectic schedule brought about by the gap in the club season.
England’s Ben Chilwell is likely to miss the World Cup after injuring his hamstring in Chelsea’s midweek Champions League game against Dinamo Zagreb
The tournament in Qatar was moved from its usual summer position because of heat concerns
Carragher says that mouth-watering Premier League clashes like Chelsea vs Arsenal and Tottenham vs Liverpool this weekend could be less of a spectacle as players going to the World Cup desperately try to avoid injury.
‘Harry Kane going head-to-head with Virgil van Dijk should be one of the most exciting duels of the season,’ he writes.
‘Instead, you can be sure that, whatever the outcome, if Kane or Van Dijk fail to meet their usual standards one or both will stand accused of ‘saving themselves’ for England or Holland.’
Son must undergo surgery to stabilise a fracture around his left eye, putting his participation in the World Cup in jeopardy.
He was caught in the face by Marseille’s Chancel Mbemba during Tuesday night’s Champions League and was forced off.
Swelling had appeared on the side of Son’s face after being caught by Chancel Mbemba
The South Korea talisman is visibly upset after being subbed off with the nasty-looking injury
South Korea begin their World Cup campaign against Uruguay on November 24.
France defender Varane was left in tears after going off because of a thigh muscle injury in Manchester United’s match against Chelsea last month.
Although not as bad as first feared, Varane faces a race against time to prove his fitness for France’s World Cup title defence.
England left-back Chilwell tore his hamstring during Chelsea’s Champions League game with Dinamo Zagreb this week and is expected to miss the World Cup.
Chilwell could be sidelined for several months and is awaiting news of scan results. England kick-off against Iran on November 21.
There are two rounds of fixtures in most top European leagues before the season pauses for the World Cup.
Varane went down during Manchester United’s draw with Chelsea late last month
The France defender looked distraught as he left the field at Stamford Bridge with the injury
After Son’s injury on Tuesday, Carragher told CBS Sports: ‘I think it’s an absolute disgrace that the World Cup is in the position it’s in, for lots of reasons.’It was corrupt that Qatar were given the World Cup, we knew that at the time.
‘They campaigned on having it in the summer, it is impossible there to have a World Cup in the summer with the temperature, it gets moved to the situation where it is now in the middle of the season.
‘Players who spend their whole lives dreaming of playing in a World Cup and now could be [out injured] – as we’ve seen with Son and players all around the world.
‘Varane was crying coming off the pitch at Stamford Bridge. That’s how close we are to a World Cup.
‘An injury, a 10-day or two-week injury, is going to keep players out of a World Cup and it should not be happening.
‘And it all started with FIFA giving Qatar the World Cup and then moving it. I think it’s absolutely disgusting.’
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