Zamalek's caretaker Tarek Yehya (Photo: Ahram)
Zamalek’s caretaker coach Tarek Yehia says the current fixture congestion of the Egyptian Premier League will harm Egypt international players; adding that resting the players is more important than finishing the league.
“Some people don’t pay attention to the sake of the national team while other African teams will play friendly matches during the international break,” Yehia told an Egyptian radio station on Monday.
“Ahly and Zamalek games should be postponed to give the players some rest. Nobody thinks at all of preparing the international players,” he added.
After almost a five-month suspension due to coronavirus pandemic, the Egyptian league resumed early in August; with the participating clubs playing every three days to end the competition in October.
Egypt has three teams participating in the anticipated semis of CAF’s inter-clubs competitions in October as Zamalek is scheduled to face Morocco's Raja Casablanca and Ahly will be facing Morocco's Wydad Casablanca in the African Champions League, while Pyramids FC will play Guinea’s Horoya in the Confederation cup.
Egypt team won’t be in action in the coming international break next month to give more space for the domestic competitions.
“Zamalek players can’t even walk and there several injuries in other clubs too like Ahly’s Rami Rabiaa and others. Does the football association want a total collapse of the players before their African confrontations,” Yehia concluded.
Several international players sustained muscular injuries like Ramy Rabiaa, Ahmed Fathi, Walid Soliman (Ahly), Abdallah El-Said (Pyramids FC), Mohamed Abdel-Shafi, Tarek Hamed (Zamalek) and Baher Elmohamady (Ismaily).
Yehia isn’t the first coach to criticize the league’s timetable since the resumption as other coaches like Talaat Youssef, Helmy Toulan and Tarek El-Ashri previously condemned the pressures resulted from the dense schedule.
Earlier in August, Egypt coach Hossam El-Badry has expressed his pleasure with the Egyptian League return, blaming the suspension of affecting the players' performance negatively.
The African qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) Africa Cup of Nations 2022 are expected to start in the upcoming period after the postponement caused by the global pandemic.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) decided to postpone next year’s Africa Cup of Nations to 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the guidance of El-Badry, Egypt were held to draws by minnows Kenya and Comoros in their opening qualifying games of the next Africa Cup of Nations last year.
Egypt, record seven-time African champions, are due to continue their campaign in the Nations Cup qualifiers, but the final dates of the remaining matches aren’t fixed yet.
In the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, Egypt were thrown into Group F along with Gabon, Libya and Angola.
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