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Raphaël Varane slams FA for ‘not hearing’ player concerns amid new Premier League rules



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Credit: IMAGO / Sportimage

Manchester United’s Raphaël Varane has slammed the FA for not listening to player concerns ahead of the new Premier League campaign.

Manchester United will kick off their 2023/24 Premier League campaign against Wolverhampton Wanderers next Monday with a new set of rules.

The FA have introduced a new measurement for extra time that is very similar to that on display during the 2022 World Cup.

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This was first seen during Sunday afternoon’s Community Shield, where the fixture against Arsenal and Manchester City saw eight added minutes and a 100th-minute equaliser from Arsenal, who went on to win the tie on penalties.

However, Raphaël Varane has explained that players expressed their concerns about this new ruling in a meeting with the FA last week, where the footballing committee ignored the issues raised.

“We had a meeting last week with the FA. They recommended from the referees new decisions and rules,” he said in his statement on X.

“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.

“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?

“As a player I feel very privileged to do the job I love every day but I feel these changes are damaging our game. We want to be at our maximum level, the best we can be and put on amazing performances for fans to celebrate every week.

“I believe it is important that we, players and managers, highlight these important issues as we want to protect the game we love and give the fans our best.”

Varane himself recently retired from international football, explaining that he wants to continue playing for as long as possible, and in order to do so, he has to reduce the number of games he plays each season.