FC Platinum coach Pieter de Jongh has urged ZIFA to abandon the $1m-mini-league tournament and channel the resources towards the national team’s preparations for the African Nations Championship (Chan) scheduled for Cameroon in January.
The association recently received the green light to start football activities in the country, and they announced the plans to change the format of the 2020 league season. The mini-league, proposed by the government, is one of the measures put in place to limit the exposure of players to coronavirus.
But De Jongh doesn’t see the project viable, saying it would create unnecessary costs for clubs that are already struggling and has called on ZIFA to focus on the CHAN preparations instead.
In an interview with NewsDay, the Dutchman said: “My advice is for Zifa to support the Warriors for Chan and FC Platinum in the Champions League 100%. Just give the month of December to national team coach (Zdravko Logarusic) and FC Platinum.
“The national team coach selected 30 players (for Chan), and he can go into training with them and have a good preparation for Chan except for FC Platinum players because we are preparing for Champions League.”
He said two friendly matches could then be arranged for the Warriors and FC Platinum in an environment conforming to COVID-19 protocols.
“The national team can then play two friendly matches against FC Platinum in December which will be good for both at a low cost and easy to control environment for the coronavirus,” he added.