Michel D’hooghe has been more than 28 years, chairman of the medical committee at FIFA. He thinks it is outdated to football as a winter sport to see, and is also calling for a longer winter break.
The heenwedstrijden in the semi-finals of the Croky Cup in the stadiums for the three-quarters were empty and the matches played last weekend in the freezing cold… There is no better argument imaginable to of football finally a summer sport. Or not? Sport/Voetbalmagazine asked Michel D’hooghe.
“The calendar for the cup of Belgium, you need to be clear once revised,” says the ex-back and ex-president of Club Brugge. “Why play in January, if you know in advance that the climatic conditions particularly delicate, it are likely to be? Me you need not convince of soccer as a summer sport. It is obsolete to football as a winter sport. I am already long. Football should be played in the best of circumstances, both for the players and for the spectators, point to the line.’
Longer winter break
The winter break was this season very short in the Jupiler Pro League. Is that wise from a medical point of view? D’hooghe: “The position there is that you have enough recuperatietijd should give to the players. The ideal for the body is a stop of three weeks. Of course, you are always depending on the climatic conditions.’
“I remember very well the time that we the championship stillegden of the end of december to mid-February, and then it snowed in march and we could not play. There are also countries where the economic aspect is the priority. Instead of the pros to relax, be them a number of exhibitiewedstrijden anywhere in the world forced upon us.’
“There is really exaggerated. When I still was a doctor of Club Brugge was the norm on a small forty matches per season. Now there are players at eighty, sometimes ninety duels. That is no longer acceptable. You notice, more and more injuries due to overload, but also much worse, long-term injuries. As I around us, I see that in Germany the winter break, however long it is. And Germans are still not the dumbest? If it is possible for them, why is it nowhere else?’
Read the full interview with Michel D’hooghe in Sport/Voetbalmagazine of Wednesday 25 January.