Pep Guardiola slams 'crazy World Cup' after Sepp Blatter admits it was a 'mistake' to host tournament in Qatar | The Sun

PEP GUARDIOLA has slammed the "crazy World Cup" and would totally understand some of his Manchester City squad having one eye on the showpiece in Qatar.

The first ever winter edition of the tournament gets underway later this month.

Despite the first game kicking off in just 11 days, City still have two fixtures left before the season pauses.

They host Chelsea in the Carabao Cup tonight before Brentford travel to the Eithad Stadium on Saturday lunchtime.

Reece James and Sadio Mane are the latest big names set to miss out in Qatar through injury and Guardiola fears for the welfare of his players.

"We have a crazy World Cup and the players can't rest," he said. "The players have one eye on the World Cup.

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"If you got an injury against Brentford, it's not going to change anything in terms of winning the Premier League or not, but you're going to miss the World Cup.

"I had to tell the guys to be focused a month ago, but now it's around the corner.

"We play Saturday and on Sunday they have to be with the national team.

"I'm pretty sure that will be in the players' minds. I would be the same."

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When asked about the availability of his players post-Qatar, Guardiola joked that some of his staff might end up getting a game.

He added: "It's better not to think about it.

"If we have don't have our international players, OK go with the academy — or with some physios!"

Meanwhile, Fifa president Sepp Blatter admitted that allowing Qatar to host the tournament was a mistake.

He told Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger: "Qatar is a mistake.

"It is too small of a country. Football and the World Cup are too big for it."

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