Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte says it’s ‘stupid’ to talk about player welfare in the Premier League because nothing is changing.
It’s a hot topic at the moment as matches are routinely canceled due to shortages of players following coronavirus outbreaks, injuries and international duties with the Africa Cup of Nations in full swing. .
The second half of the season will see clubs forced to make up a large number of games, with Burnley having played five fewer games than league leaders Manchester City.
Player welfare and the number of games teams have to play has long been a bone of contention in this country, so much so that Conte says there is no need to deal with it now.
“I think it’s not the first season in England that you’ve been talking about player welfare, to try to protect players,” he said.
“My question is: in all these years, what has changed? Nothing. And for this reason I tell you that it is stupid to continue talking about the well-being of the players because you waste time.
“It’s not just this season but for many years…you always talk about player welfare, but what are we doing for player welfare? Nothing.
“We implement the games to play, that’s the truth. And then I think it’s stupid to talk about a subject that we don’t want to solve or that we can’t solve and for this reason, we waste time.
“We have to move on and try to be serious and talk about other things.”
Conte expressed surprise at the Premier League’s “strange” decision to cancel Sunday’s North London derby with Arsenal, despite the Gunners having just one confirmed case of Covid.
All 20 clubs agreed the criteria needed to postpone games, but Conte said the Premier League had changed the “vision”.
He added: “Yes, you have to learn to laugh, you have to laugh because they have totally changed the vision.
“We accept and we play here and for this reason we have to accept every decision. But I think that at all times you have to show respect for all the teams and the players, the coaches, for the people who work in the soccer.”