After beating Tunisian side Sfaxien 3-1 in the CAF Confederation Cup group stage on Sunday and reaching the tournament semifinals, Zamalek coach Jesualdo Ferreira has revealed concerns about player exhaustion because of the domestic and continental games sequence.
The 69-year-old Zamalek Portuguese tactician asked the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to reschedule the game times, which would give the players some much-needed rest if they are to continue their success.
The current game sequence demands that the Zamalek team play every couple days—an interval that Ferreira says is insufficient for players to recover from each game.
"Zamalek players are suffering from a close time sequence of the games, so I ask CAF to reschedule the competition times to solve this problem," Ferreira said in the post-game press conference.
Zamalek are now tied at 12 points with Orlando Pirates, who also made it to the competition's semis. But the Cairo giants have a better head-to-head record, having beaten the South Africans 2-1 in Johannesburg. They will meet in the last group game to determine who will qualify as the leaders.
"The most important thing for me is to win more than the score number," he added.
Ferreira also praised the performance of the players during the game, believing “Zamalek now are the champions.”
"I am happy with the players performance because we played a big game and gained points in home and away games," the Zamalek coach added.
Moreover, ten Zamalek players have been included in the national team’s closed camp for the game against Chad in the CAN 2017 qualifiers, as the Pharaohs are looking to return to the African scene after missing the past three editions of the continental tournament.
"Egypt’s national team will also be affected by the players exhaust so we have to arrange the game time to allow them rebuild their fitness," the Zamalek coach concluded.
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