The Zifa board was on Thursday night due to hold a crisis meeting after Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet was denied a work permit to coach the Warriors, amid revelations the national association was planning an entirely new technical set-up after next week’s Mozambique match.
On Thursday night, the other board members were waiting for the arrival of first vice-president Ndumiso Gumede before the meeting could start.
The Warriors play the Mambas in an international friendly in Maputo next Wednesday, where Madinda Ndlovu has been tasked to take charge.
The meeting was also due to look at who would assist Ndlovu in the Maputo game.
The meeting follows the resignation of former caretaker coach Norman Mapeza, who must now be cursing his gods for resigning from the technical set-up before Saintfiet was denied a work permit last Friday, claiming frustration from some members of the Zifa board.
The Department of Immigration wrote to Zifa about Saintfiet:
“Reference is made to the application for temporary employment permit submitted in respect of the above-named (Saintfiet Tom Julianus Maria).
“I regret to advise that discretion has not been exercised in terms of Section 22 (1) (a) of the Immigration Regulations SI 195 of 1998 and consequently a temporary employment permit has not been approved. It is now necessary that the above-named should go with his letter to his/her nearest immigration office so that departure arrangements can be made,” read part of the letter from the office of the Principal Director of Immigration Clemence Masango.
Saintfiet refused to comment on the latest developments on Thursday, saying: “I have only read about that and have no information at all and therefore cannot comment.
“Talk to the people at Zifa, they will have more information.”
Board member (competitions) Benedict Moyo said: “I am sure the secretariat has communicated that to him.
“We are meeting tonight (Thursday night) where we will be appraised of the developments before we go to Kariba tomorrow (Friday).”
On the other hand, it could also show that club administrators are better organised to follow proper channels than the Zifa leadership.
Zambians Keegan Mumba, Fred Mwila, Fewdays Musonda and Dick Chama, Briton Eddie May and lately Egyptian Mohammed Fathi have coached in the country without a problem.
This weekend’s retreat, which will be attended by Fifa Southern Region Development Officer Ashford Mamelodi and two officials from the headquarters in Zurich, will look at how Zimbabwe can benefit from annual grants from the world soccer governing body.
Mamelodi arrived in the country on Thursday afternoon.
Said acting chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze on Thursday:
“It will help us to look closer at the regulations governing the use of financial assistant funds with specific votes on youth, women football, technical issues, marketing and administration, among other issues. This basically means there must be no chance for misuse or misallocation of those funds because in the past we have suffered where the funds have been used for people like Valinhos at the expense of the development of the game.”
Zifa gets a $250 000 annual grant from Fifa but had to pay former coach Valinhos $60 000 after failing to pay his salary.
That anomaly affected youth development as Zifa pulled out all junior teams from continental tournaments.
This is the first time that the entire 13-member board will be meeting Mamelodi since they came into power seven months ago and they will receive expert advice in the areas of planning, event management, constitutional affairs, player transfers and co-operation between Zifa and Fifa.