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Pep Guardiola is right about baffling scheduling - football is in danger of eating itself with insane demands on players

Gary Lineker and his BBC Sport colleagues were standing with Pep Guardiola on the Wembley turf after Manchester City had seen off Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final. They expected him to gush about how pleased he was with his players for overcoming a punishing and draining Champions League elimination at the hands of Real Madrid to make it to the FA Cup final.

Instead, Lineker quickly found himself on the backfoot in the face of an impassioned speech from Guardiola over the fact that City's game had been scheduled so soon after their last outing, while the other semi-final between Manchester United and Coventry City, neither of whom had played in midweek, was organised for the Sunday.

"It's unacceptable" were the first words out of the City boss's mouth. "It's really unacceptable. Because I’ve won I have the courage to tell you. For the health of the players, it’s not normal. I don’t understand how we survived today. Why play today and not tomorrow, when Coventry, Chelsea, and United didn’t play in the midweek? Why not have one more day for the health of the players? Tell me how you prepare this final against Chelsea in the best moment of the season. How? It’s impossible. There’s no chance."

Guardiola's speech might have looked like a rant, but he had every right to decry the insane scheduling which continues to compromise the world's best players. And the television companies and governing bodies need to listen to him, because if potential audience targets continue to be prioritised over player welfare, football is in danger of eating itself.

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