‘Why are our opinions not being heard?’
The new rules that English football has enacted to avoid time wasting will increase player workload in an already packed schedule, Manchester United defender Raphael Varane said on Monday as he slammed authorities for ignoring player concerns.
As part of the new regulations, referees will add the exact time lost in goal celebrations, substitutions or injuries to the stoppage time. In previous seasons, the policy was to aggregate a nominal period of time.
There were eight minutes of added time in the second half of Arsenal's victory over Manchester City in the Community Shield, while several matches in the second-tier Championship's first round had 10 or more minutes of added time.
"From the managers and players, we have shared our concerns for many years now that there are too many games, the schedule is overcrowded, and it's at a dangerous level for players physical and mental well-being," Varane said on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
"Despite our previous feedbacks, they have now recommended for next season: longer games, more intensity, and less emotions to be shown by players.
"We just want to be in good condition on the pitch to give 100% to our club and fans. Why are our opinions not being heard?"
City manager Pep Guardiola also criticised the officiating changes after the Premier League champions conceded an equaliser in the 11th minute of stoppage time.
"What is their opinion, we have to accept it. Now the games will be 100 minutes, that's for sure," Guardiola told reporters on Sunday.
"It never happened today and it was eight minutes, imagine if they extend for goals and every time you score a goal in a game (that is) 4-3. You put 30 seconds, 45 seconds on for seven goals, tomorrow morning 9 am I am here playing."
The Community Shield also demonstrated how officials would enforce new rules established to improve the behaviour of players, managers and fans, with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta being shown a yellow card for protesting a refereeing decision on the touchline.
"I just said 'listen, I cannot change my behaviour in three days'," Arteta told reporters of his yellow card.