Emma Hayes fumes at ‘unacceptable’ international women’s football calendar after injuries


Chelsea boss Emma Hayes fears for the welfare of players if the international calendar in the women’s game is not revamped soon.

Blues midfielder Pernille Harder recently underwent surgery on her hamstring after getting injured in Denmark’s game against Switzerland earlier this month, while Arsenal’s Beth Mead ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in her knee on Saturday during defeat to Manchester United.

The women’s schedule is currently packed, with players having major tournaments in each of the next three summers, and Hayes has called for change.

“I’m very frustrated,” she said. “I’ve made it clear player welfare needs looking at.

“Erin Cuthbert went away, Scotland played a game on Saturday and then they played her again less than 48 hours later on a Monday. It’s outrageous players are put in those positions.

“Pernille wants to do everything, it’s not the fault of anybody, these injuries come for many reasons, but I feel players playing in World Cups and European Championships, being given two weeks rest between seasons, is unacceptable.

“We need to start putting the players first. It’s killing the players. I’m not talking on behalf of my own, it’s across the board. Look at the injuries in the women’s game.”

Chelsea are in action tonight as they face Real Madrid in the Champions league and they have been boosted by Fran Kirby’s return to fitness after illness.

The Blues are two points clear of Real Madrid at the top of Group A after beating Paris Saint-Germain and Vllaznia in their opening two games.