Editorial :

Schedule, Planning and PERFORMANCE

In today’s football, the issue of calendars has become a central point in the negotiations between the various players in this sector, whether it be FIFA, confederations, federations, clubs or players.

Football is certainly a spectacle, but it is above all a sport practiced by men and women whose recovery times and the number of matches to be played each season must be respected.

For several years, FIFA, federations, clubs and players ‘ associations have been gathering together to establish a more coherent international match schedule for the benefit of all. Thus, for national selections, there have been periods of 4-day availability including a match at 9-day periods in which breeders can better work with their staff and compete in two international games. .

With regard to the concordance of international calendars, one of the major problems has been for several decades on the dates of the African Cup of Nations which took place in January every two years. The new executive Committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) recently took the decision to change the period of this competition which will take place, as of the 2019 edition, in June, which would delight the European clubs, but also the players Africans evolving in these clubs.

This reform has important consequences for the African football calendar as it also results in a change in the seasons of the Interclub competitions. From January to December, they will now take place from July to June, mimicking on the rhythm of the seasons of most European Championships.

We have recently received the calendar of these competitions from the CAF (Champions League and Confederation Cup) for the next 3 years. We publish it herewith and you will note that this table gives us a good visibility on the forthcoming programme for the Ivorian clubs qualified in these competitions. A hell of a program in this case since the first rounds of the League of Champions and the Confederation Cup 2018-2019 will be held at the end of November 2018, even before the final of the current edition, to end of May 2019. 6 months of competition for this edition before regaining a more normal rhythm for the 2019-2020 edition which will take place from September to May.

The 2018-2019 edition will therefore be very condensed, but knowing the program long enough in advance allows the staffs to properly plan the preparation of the players and reach their peaks of shape at the right time. If the cadence can seem problematic, the most is the lack of programming… What the Ivorian clubs have been living for many years.

This is a problem for the coaches, for the players, but also for all the other players in football, whether they are journalists, sponsors or broadcasters since they can not program anything in advance. How to plan an event during the last game of the season when the date of the day, decisive for the continuation in Ligue 1 or for the qualification in African Cup, is communicated to the clubs 6 days before the game? Similarly, with regard to the National cup whose programme has just been passed to us, a few days before the end of the season.

Planning being one of the key elements of performance and sport success, we wish, in this period of the season’s review, that the organizers of the Ivorian national competitions will be able to present and follow the timetable of the Next season knowing that it will certainly have to be counted with the closure of some stages for their renovation for CAN 2021. A hell of a headache in perspective! 

Benoît YOU