Due to the short turnaround, players are treated like “robots,” according to Australia and Argentina, who have criticised Fifa for scheduling their last-16 match three days after their final World Cup group games. The Socceroos defeated Denmark on Wednesday night and will play Argentina and Lionel Messi in a highly anticipated semifinal match on Saturday at 10 p.m. local time.

Argentina’s 2-0 victory over Poland was played at 10 p.m., four hours after Australia’s match with Denmark, leaving even less time for recovery. Lionel Scaloni, Argentina’s coach, called the situation “crazy.” Teams who advanced to the knockout stages at Russia 2018 had at least four days between their final group match and the round of 16.

René Meulensteen, the assistant coach of the Socceroos, questioned how the Fifa organisation could behave in this manner during such a prestigious competition. “The four-day turnovers are already brief, and they become even more so after the group stages.

In accordance with the compressed schedule of 29 days for Qatar 2022, both teams played their three group matches four days apart. This is three fewer days than were needed to host the 2018 tournament and the tournament in Brazil four years prior.

Less than seven days prior to their opening World Cup matches, some players this time around had already played for their clubs. The unusual circumstances prompted the international players’ union, Fifpro, to issue a warning that the heavy workload and the warm weather created an unheard-of risk of injury.

And it’s not just me; it’s particularly the boys who played three straight games; they have a quick turnaround right now. It’s crazy that we are playing in less than two days, so today we are happy but not euphoric, he said. I want to be clear that I don’t think it’s fair that after leading the group, we only get two and a half days of rest.