BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
HIGHLANDERS might have employed a fraudster amid reports suggesting their new Dutch coach Hendrik Pieter De Jongh was sacked in Hungary in 2014 for allegedly presenting a fake UEFA Pro Licence where he had been engaged as technical director of Budapest Honved Academy.
The job which had arisen in Budapest needed a holder of either a UEFA Pro Licence or Elite Youth Diploma, which are some of the highest coaching badges in Europe.
According to Kenyan newspaper The Standard, The Hungarian Football Federation, unsatisfied with De Jongh’s qualifications wrote to their Dutch counterparts KNVB in order to verify the authenticity of his resume.
In a correspondence to KNVB on April 2, Hungary Football Federation head of education László Szalai wrote: “We have the following information and data about H Pieter de Jongh, you can find the diploma and licence validity attached.
“But the problem is that the name is not H.G de Jongh and in your letter you say he has only got UEFA “A” Diploma, but Mr de Jongh showed us a UEFA Pro Diploma. And for his job position in Hungary he should have UEFA PRO or UEFA Elite Youth Diploma.
“Please give me some answer, what do you think about the diploma of Mr de Jongh and what do you think about the signature in the diploma? I find this situation rather strange.”
In response, KNVB disowned it suggesting it was counterfeit.
“This is not a diploma of the KNVB. So it is a counterfeit and, therefore, not a valid diploma. We will inform our legal department. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.”
The 48-year-old De Jongh was roped in as head coach in place of Mandla Mpofu, who had been elevated to the hot seat following the departure of Madinda Ndlovu who left for Botswana.
In the current set up, Mpofu will deputise the Dutch coach as the Bulawayo giants seek to bounce back after a dismal performance which has seen them hover just above the relegation cut off.
However, with De Jongh still waiting for the processing of his papers to enable him to start work, Mpofu will preside over the Chibuku Super Cup first round clash against old foes Dynamos at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
The Dutchman’s main brief when he eventually takes over will be to guide the team away from the relegation dog fight.
Highlanders’ counter parts Dynamos also had a bad experience with Portuguese coach Paulo George Silva whom they engaged despite a questionable resume. Their relationship eventually ended in a messy divorce.