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No Saintfiet permit


Belgian Tom Saintfiet has been denied a work permit for the second time, effectively putting to rest the issue of a Warriors foreign coach.

Zifa acting chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze confirmed the latest development on Thursday.

“Our appeal was not successful. He has been denied a work permit and obviously the board has to move to Plan B and make sure there is a substantive coach by the end of the year. The board will meet to deliberate on that.

“We can no longer appeal on the case, what we just have to acknowledge is that football moves on and we need to look ahead to Chan and the Afcon 2012 preparations. In this regard, Madinda Ndlovu remains the caretaker coach and has been tasked with preparing a team for Chan while the board waits to meet.”

He added: “Football is a going concern and we cannot stop because the nation expects us to deliver on our mandate.”

No immediate comment could be obtained from Saintfiet on Thursday.

He had been offered a four- year deal to take the Warriors to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations and 2014 World Cup finals, worth $8 000 a month, which could have cost almost $300 000.

Even if Saintfiet approaches the world soccer governing body arguing that he had signed a contract, Zifa has exhausted all the channels and cannot be held liable.

In denying him a work permit in the first application, the Department of Immigration wrote: “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.”

On receipt of the letter denying Saintfiet a permit, Zifa immediately wrote to Ndlovu on Tuesday confirming him as the caretaker coach.

“We hereby inform you that the Zifa Board has appointed as the caretaker head coach for the senior national men’s team ahead of the senior national team’s 2011 Chan and 2012 Afcon campaign,” wrote Mashingaidze.

Ndlovu also confirmed his appointment and will meet with his technical team today to draw up a plan for the campaign with a friendly match slated for December 19, tentatively, against Zambia at home.

The Warriors have been drawn against South Africa, Ghana and Niger in the Chan second edition of the competition that is designed for local players only.
Commenting on the draw, Ndlovu said:

“It’s a challenging draw for us, but it’s also good for local players to test their strength against powerhouses like South Africa and Ghana. We go there as underdogs due to the fact that we have not done well in the past, but I hope we will play well.

“South Africa is a good side; they can field any of their teams-Under 23 or B sides while for Zimbabwe we cannot say we can field a weaker team. We will take the strongest team there because the main is to win the competition.

“We will give Ghana the respect that they deserve and we hope they will give us the respect that we deserve as well. For Niger, I don’t know much, but if they underrate us, they could be casualties.”

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