Bom Senso FC demand changes to Brazil’s football calendar
A group of more than 70 worried Brazilian footballers have called on their governing body, the CBF, to review the calendar for the 2014 season.
Players signed the petition as part of the movement, known as Bom Senso FC (Common Sense FC), demanding change due to the large number of games and short pre-season.
Signatures included those of at least 18 former and current Brazil internationals, including ex-AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato, former Real Madrid midfielder Julio Baptista and current Seleção goalkeepers Jefferson and Diego Cavalieri.
"Due to the short period of time proposed for (pre-season) preparations and the high number of games to be played without a break we decided to get together to discuss ways of improving the quality of the spectacle we present for millions of supporters," the players wrote in an open letter to the CBF.
The CBF released the 2014 schedule last week. State championship matches began on January 12 and will roll directly into the national championship which will continue until mid-December.
With first, second and third division games halted for a month because of the World Cup, clubs are being asked to play more matches in midweek to compensate as the CBF makes provisions for 11 different competitions.
"How are we expected to prepare and plan?" an exasperated Alex, the former Fenerbahce player now with Curitiba, said on TV last month.
The protest represents an almost unprecedented challenge to the strong power yielded by the CBF, state federations and television companies.
Many clubs and players have called on the CBF to align their calendar more closely with Europe's August-to-May program to minimise disruption.