BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS coach Hendrikus Pieter de Jongh is furious with Zifa as he alleges that officials at the football mother body went behind his back to convince Prince Dube to join the Warriors camp before Bosso’s match against Ngezi Platinum Stars.
De Jongh said he had already made an agreement with Warriors coach Joey Antipas that Dube would fly to Harare tomorrow morning after the league match against Ngezi Platinum Stars today.
The Dutch national questioned the wisdom of playing league matches when the national team is involved in two important qualifying matches.
Zimbabwe take on Botswana in a Group H Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier at the National Sports Stadium on Friday before they travel to Zambia for a match against the hosts on Tuesday.
The Highlanders gaffer said Fifa rules about the international break must overrule those of the local league and must be enforced by the country’s football governing body (Zifa).
“Fifa rules are clear that when an official qualifying game is being played, there are no games to be played. This is not good for football. It is also very strange that I agree with the coach (Antipas) that after the Ngezi game Prince would travel and the manager or some people in the office go behind my back and call Prince. How is it possible that Zifa does not follow Fifa rules? Zifa can say that no games are supposed to be played?” De Jongh quipped.
The Highlanders mentor said he tried to get clarification from Zifa chief executive officer Joseph Mamutse but without joy.
“I called the Zifa CEO (Joseph Mamutse) yesterday (Monday). I know him very well and I told him and he said he would come back to me but I think his airtime got finished because he did not call back. Every country in the world is free and only Zimbabwe isn’t,” the Dutchman said.
He said he had been made to believe that the Warriors were not training today as Antipas would be with his club Chicken Inn at Trojan Mine for the league game against Mushowani Stars while his assistant at the national team Tonderai Ndiraya would be with his Dynamos at Ascot Stadium against Chapungu.
Another Warriors’ assistant coach Lloyd Chitembwe’s Harare City host TelOne at Rufaro Stadium.
De Jongh said he was hopeful of a positive result against Ngezi Platinum.
“So we play tomorrow and Prince is not available. He is with the national team now. We will try to come out with a good result. We have respect for the opponents; they are on position five on the log table and there is two points’ difference between us and them. It is not going to be easy because they are a good team with good players. We are in good spirits. We have other players that are available,” De Jongh said.