Safa boss wants change in Fifa international calendar

'No African country will win World Cup under these conditions'

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Danny Jordaan (President) of SAFA.
Danny Jordaan (President) of SAFA.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi

SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan has blasted the current  formation of the Fifa break, arguing no African team will ever win the World Cup until Fifa tweaks its ordinary nine-day, two-match window arrangement.

Jordaan has suggested that the travelling African teams undergo during the international window makes it difficult for players to perform at their best, implying Fifa must extend the international match calendar to afford CAF nations enough time leading up to matches. 

"The international match calendar, as it is constructed, doesn't favour African teams. It favours Europe because you have eight days to play two matches. Day one for an African team is used up when they must travel. On that day one, two hours later, all of the European selected players are with their countries training, while African teams' players are sitting at Frankfurt and other airports,'' Jordaan argued.

"An African team will not win a World Cup under these prevailing conditions, that I can tell you. You can't have a team that must play two matches in eight days. Take Bafana's last match against Liberia, all our players came on day two of the eight days, six days left. One day training, the next day we had to play Liberia here [in Soweto's Orlando Stadium], next day rest and next day travel. It is a totally unsatisfactory arrangement but unfortunately we have to sit with it for another four, five years.

"[As an African player plying his trade in Europe] you take a 10-hour flight from travels at night and arrives in your country in the morning, you sit six hours at the airport and after 20 hours you must report, the coach expects you to train, the next day to play and the next day to travel another 10 hours to Liberia or Morocco to play again,'' Jordaan argued.

Did you know?

At its 73rd Congress in Kigali, Rwanda, last month, Fifa passed into law that the men’s international match calendar from 2025 to 2030 will be structured as follows:

• March: a nine-day, two-match window

• June: a nine-day, two-match window (including friendlies in preparation of final tournaments where appropriate)

• Late September/early October: a 16-day, four-match window (to be introduced as of 2026, with two nine-day, two-match windows to be retained in September and October 2025)

• November: a nine-day, two-match window

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