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Zito presses for calendar rejig to boost Ghana clubs in ‘Africa’

Dreams FC coach, Karim Zito has underscored the imperative need for a comprehensive reconfiguration of the Ghanaian football calendar in a bid to enhance the competitiveness of the country’s representatives at the onset of Caf Inter-club competitions.

In recent times, Ghanaian clubs have grappled with lackluster performances in the Caf Champions League and Confederation Cup, often stumbling at the preliminary stages and failing to progress to the group phases.

Among the myriad of factors contributing to this recurring phenomenon, the seasoned former international player and coach has singled out the scheduling conundrum as a significant hindrance.

According to Coach Zito, the present status quo places Ghanaian clubs at a disadvantage, as they are still in the nascent phases of their pre-season preparations when the new seasons of inter-club competitions begin.

The most recent season concluded in June, and following a mandatory period of rest, clubs had just embarked on preparations for the upcoming campaign when the inter-club tournaments commenced in mid-August, for the 2023/24 season.

Zito voiced his concerns after Dreams FC’s nail-biting victory against Guinean side Milo FC de Kankan at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday.

Ghana’s FA Cup champions narrowly secured passage from the first preliminary round of the 2023/24 Caf Confederation Cup, orchestrating a comeback from a first-half deficit to clinch a 2-1 victory in the final five minutes, and subsequently triumph 3-2 on aggregate.

Reflecting on the matter, Coach Zito shared, “Given that we are not engaged in league matches, the match fitness level isn’t optimal. In contrast, other nations are actively participating in their leagues. It’s imperative for us to introspect and recalibrate our calendar to effectively help those who qualify for Africa.”

Zito further stated, “I’m in Ghana, preparing for Africa [the Caf Confederation Cup], but I don’t have anyone [high-profile opponent] to play against.”

Elaborating on his point, he shared: “FC Samartex considered me [for a preparatory friendly] because their two managers used to be my assistants, Black Galaxies it was because of Didi Dramani, Heart of Lions, their coach used to be my assistant. He’s my boy so you see they agreed to help.”

Dreams FC’s next challenge in the journey is a face-off against Sierra Leone’s FC Kallon in the second preliminary round in mid-September, vying for a coveted spot in the group stage of the 2023/24 Caf Confederations Cup.

 

 

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