Johannesburg – Kaizer Chiefs’ recently hired Italian coach Giovanni Solinas says the South African schedule is for “robots rather than human beings”.
The 50-year-old signed a two-year contract last month and was tasked with bringing success to a club that has gone three seasons without a trophy.
But Chiefs have won only one of four league and cup matches under Solinas in 11 days since the season kicked off and the coach blames the taxing schedule.
“This calendar is for robots rather than human beings,” he told reporters after drawing a league match at unfashionable Baroka.
Baroka had five days to prepare for the match while Chiefs had only two because they played in a cup competition last Saturday which their opponents did not qualify for.
“You play, you travel, you play, you travel,” complained the Italian, who has spent much of his coaching career in Algeria.
“There is no time for recovery between matches, no time for training sessions. It is a big problem that we have to accept while trying to do our best.”
Solinas said he had sufficient players to implement rotation, but was worried that constantly changing the starting line-up could affect results.
“You cannot change too many players because the side can lose its shape. When results go against you, confidence suffers.”
Solinas will not get much sympathy from the other 15 top-flight South African clubs as they often face the same twice-a-week schedule.
Regularly playing twice a week is a worldwide football trend and all South African Premiership players are full-time professionals.
Apart from a 30-round league, there are three annual cup competitions – the Top 8, League Cup and FA Cup.
The Top 8 competition involves the top eight league finishers from the previous season and offers a lucrative R8 million (winners-take-all prize.