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Raphael Varane voices concerns over 2023-24 season’s new rules
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Raphael Varane voices concerns over 2023-24 season’s new rules

Aug 7, 2023

Raphael Varane has voiced his discontent over the FA’s decision to tweak football’s ruleset for the upcoming 2023-24 season.

The FA and IFAB (the International Football Association Board) have introduced more rules for next season including stricter punishments for player and manager dissent, there are also revised rules for goalkeepers who deliberately attempt to distract a penalty taker.

However, perhaps the most eye-opening new rule which will have the biggest impact on the upcoming season is the regulatory bodies’ decision to increase the amount of stoppage time.

Just as fans saw in last winter’s World Cup in Qatar, games routinely ran over the 100-minute mark, and the same is now set to happen in the Premier League and EFL. Stoppages for goals, celebrations, injuries, delays before free-kicks and goal kicks, as well as substitutions, will all now be factored into the number on the fourth official’s electronic board come the end of the game’s 90 minutes.

However, while some fans may be excited at the prospect of games being on for longer, Manchester United’s Varane has taken issue with the impending changes.

“We had a meeting last week with the FA,” the French centre-back posted on his official social media.

“They recommended from the referees new decisions and rules. 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’s comments come just after Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola expressed the same frustrations.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday following his side’s Community Shield defeat against Arsenal, Guardiola said: “They [the IFAB] don’t consult with managers, they don’t consult with the players; what is their opinion. We just have to accept it. We have to do it – this amount of games. Now the games will be 100 minutes, that’s for sure.”


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