Zamalek coach Patrice Carteron has opposed the Egyptian Football Association’s decision to resume the Egyptian Premier League.
Multiple leagues across Africa were placed on a hiatus following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic which has claimed thousands of lives, as well as crippling economies worldwide.
With football activities returning following the relaxation of lockdown conditions in several countries, it was announced that the league in the North African country would return in August - which has required teams to return to training and play friendly matches.
However, the 49-year-old Frenchman who had handled the Malian senior national team, TP Mazembe, Al Ahly and Raja Casablanca, has stated that the congested fixture list is problematic.
“Like most managers, I didn’t want the league to resume because it will result in congested fixtures and us not finishing the league campaign in time,” Carteron told a press conference as reported by Kingfut.
“We wanted a new season so that we can finish it at an appropriate time without having a busy schedule that would put so much pressure on the players.
“There’s no point in finishing the current league season in such a short amount of time but we’re forced to play our remaining games because if we don’t, the club will receive sanctions. We will use these games to prepare for the [CAF] Champions League.”
At the beginning of 2020, Zamalek defeated Esperance 3-1 to win the Caf Super Cup at Doha’s Thani bin Jassim Stadium.
Their last outing before Covid-19 was a 1-0 defeat to Esperance in March inside Stade Olympique de Rades in the second leg of the Caf Champions League quarter-finals.
On the domestic front, the Cairo giants are currently fourth in the league after accruing 28 points from 16 matches – 18 adrift of leaders and cross-city rivals Al Ahly, with a game in hand.
Carteron replaced Milutin Sredojevic on December 3. 2019. It will be recalled that he led the team to winning the Egyptian Super Cup title, six days after his Caf Super Cup triumph - to become the fourth manager in Zamalek’s history to win two titles within a week.