Pep Guardiola launches extraordinary rant accusing FA and Premier League of undermining Man City –
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Pep Guardiola launches extraordinary rant accusing FA and Premier League of undermining Man City



Pep Guardiola has accused the FA and Premier League of undermining Manchester City’s bid to repeat the Treble.

In an extraordinary rant ahead of his team’s title showdown with Arsenal, the City boss demanded an explanation as to why the Blues are being forced to play seven games in 21 season-defining days when foreign rivals can rely on the cooperation of their national associations.

City face high-flying Aston Villa on Wednesday before travelling to Crystal Palace for a 12.30 kick-off on Saturday – and then have just a three-day break before going to Real Madrid for the first leg of a Champions League quarter-final.

They then meet Luton three days before the return with the Spanish giants – and Guardiola is incensed by the decision to schedule his team’s FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea on Saturday, April 20 when it could have been staged 24 hours later.

Guardiola said: “Madrid have nine days to prepare for our game. Nine days! They play this weekend and then not again until our game – while I am thinking, ‘Oh, just give me one more day!’

‌”With one more day the difference is a lot – but there is no chance. That’s why, when you ask me about changes to the calendar, I give my opinion – but forget about it. I defend my club and for my club it’s really tough playing every three days, three days, three days – and the other clubs don’t have that situation.


‌”In France, PSG don’t play between their quarter-final games. In Portugal, they often play on Friday before the Champions League. They (the FA and Premier League ) have their own business and their own decisions.

“But I would like to know the answer about why we play in the FA Cup all the time on Saturday and not on Sunday. One day is a lot of difference at this stage with injured players and the accumulation of games.”

‌Guardiola has refused to sacrifice the domestic cup competitions to prioritise the Premier League and Champions League during his eight years in Manchester.

‌City are the first club in the 152-year history of the FA Cup to reach six successive semi-finals – but in each of the last four seasons, they have been forced to play at Wembley on the Saturday after featuring in the Champions League rather than being granted an extra 24 hours to rest.

Manchester United meet Coventry in the other semi-final the following day. Guardiola’s frustration has been compounded by losing John Stones and Kyle Walker through injury after they reported for duty for two England friendlies during a badly-timed international break.

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