Cameroon coach Toni Conceicao has described the scheduling of the Nations Cup third-place and final fixtures as a ‘shame for African football’, adding that the risks compromise safety and security of players.
Conceicao’s Cameroon will face Burkina Faso in a third-place playoff in Yaounde on Saturday, less than 24 hours after they were beaten by Egypt in the semifinals.
Egypt, meanwhile, will square off against Senegal in the final on Sunday, with only two days of rest, having played three matches, all of which went to extra time, in an eight-day period.
“We are in the same situation [as Egypt],” Conceicao told GOAL. “[It’s] not easy.
“It’s a shame for African football that the coaches and players are not at 100 percent. As coaches, we have to find the best solution, and Egypt’s head coach has to find solution as well.”
Egypt had asked Africa’s football governing body, CAF, to move the final to Monday, to enable the Pharaohs have an extra day of rest, but there’s been no response from the continental body.
“[Caf] have to organise it to find what is best for safety and security of players,” Conceicao continued. “We are just the actors who must follow the regulations as everyone else does.
“It’s not easy to recover in 48 hours, science proves that players can’t be recovered totally,” he added. “We’ll try and refresh our team, but it’s impossible after 120 minutes, after the emotion demands, to recover the players fully.”
Egypt and Senegal will go head-to-head for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations title in Yaounde on Sunday.