“Fifa Virus” Strikes European Clubs as Players Suffer Injuries on International Duty
Once again, the international break has taken a toll on several European clubs, including Barcelona and Real Madrid. The absence of key players due to injuries sustained while on duty with their national teams has affected both teams. Barcelona’s midfielder Gavi, will likely miss the season due to a serious injury. On the other hand, Real Madrid’s Vinícius Júnior and Eduardo Camavinga have also been sidelined due to injuries sustained while representing Brazil and France, respectively.
Other clubs affected include Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, and Inter Milan. Spain and other countries have referred to these injuries sustained on international duty as the “FIFA virus.” Manchester City may have avoided a scare, as Erling Haaland’s injury doesn’t seem to be serious. Paris Saint-Germain’s 17-year-old midfielder, Warren Zaïre-Emery, was injured while representing France, and Manchester United’s goalkeeper André Onana couldn’t finish Cameroon’s World Cup qualifier.
The injury to Gavi has sparked criticism in the Spanish media, with some blaming Spain coach Luis de la Fuente for not taking Gavi out of the game earlier. Meanwhile, Real Madrid and Barcelona are considering making a formal complaint to the Spanish soccer federation. De la Fuente has expressed his devastation over Gavi’s injury and insisted that it was an accident.
Barcelona and Real Madrid will feel the absence of their injured players. Gavi’s injury will be a big blow for Barcelona, as he was one of the key players in their squad this season. Meanwhile, Real Madrid will be without Vinícius Júnior for two months and Camavinga for some time. This international break has once again highlighted the risks that clubs face when their players represent their national teams.
The length of absence due to injuries sustained during international duty has been a cause for concern, prompting FIFA to approve its insurance program for clubs. FIFA has allocated $150 million for the 2023-26 men’s World Cup period for its Club Protection Program, which can pay a maximum of 7.5 million euros ($8.2 million) for one player’s injury. This aims to ease the financial burden that clubs face when their players get injured on international duty.