Pep Guardiola blames FA and Premier League for Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford injuries

Pep Guardiola says football’s power brokers are ruining England’s chances of success at Euro 2020 – because of the punishing fixture schedule.

England strikers Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford are enduring long injury lay-offs, with both facing a battle to prove their fitness ahead of this summer’s tournament.

Tottenham ’s Kane suffered a ruptured tendon in his hamstring which required surgery, while Manchester United forward Rashford sustained a double stress fracture of his back.

Manchester City boss Guardiola believes the Football Association and the Premier League only have themselves to blame for the high-profile injuries – because of the fixture demands on players.

Guardiola said players are breaking down because they are required to play too many games and even called for the Carabao Cup to be scrapped.

“I’m so sorry for Kane and Rashford, but we demand a lot from the players, it’s too much,” said Guardiola.

“The players deserve to be treated as they should be, so they perform as well as possible.

“It’s unsustainable. The players fall down. It’s too much. They [the authorities] should reflect on it but all the managers complained about it and they don’t care.

“The players suffer. We push and push, but the body says stop, it’s enough. Of course it’s too much to expect.

“The players arrive at the Euros, playing with the national teams, trying their best, then back here after no more than 20 days because the business, the show must go on.

“The big administration people cannot complain, because it’s normal this happens.

“With that number of games, players break down. I’m not surprised. I’m so sorry for them.”

Pressed on the solution, Guardiola, chasing a third successive Carabao Cup, suggested scrapping the competition entirely to ease the fixture burden.

Asked if it would solve the issue if Premier League clubs were not involved, Guardiola said: “But then it wouldn’t be interesting. It would just be for the Championship teams or League One and League Two.

“Eliminate competitions, take them out completely – so less games.

“Less games, less competitions, less teams, more quality, less quantity.”

Guardiola has rested England winger Raheem Sterling, who has sat out two of City’s last four games, to save him from burn-out and potential injury.

“He’s played more than 3,000 minutes,” said Guardiola. “His standards are continuing quite similarly. Maybe he hasn’t scored in the last few games, but there are no doubts.”

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