ZIMBABWE’S representatives in the 2020/2021 Caf Champions league FC Platinum have been dealt a major blow after the continental body turned down their plea to have coach Hiendrikus Pieter De Jongh (pictured) granted a special dispensation to sit on the bench without the mandatory Caf A coaching Licence.
De Jongh holds a Uefa A coaching licence which Caf does not recognise.
And the continental motherbody has insisted that only the Caf A Licence is the permissible qualification for all coaches taking part in the continental football showcase.
“The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has turned down Heindrikus Pieter De Jongh and FC Platinum’s request for an exemption to allow the head coach to sit on the bench during Caf interclub matches.
“De Jongh is a holder of a Uefa A licence obtained in his native country, Netherlands. A Caf A coaching licence is a prerequisite for all coaches who participate in Caf Interclub competitions.
“For coaches licensing criterion demands that all persons should be qualified for positions that they hold within football structures.
“To complement CCS’s stance on promoting professionalisation of the game, the Zimbabwe football Association (Zifa) has also been gradually enforcing club licensing dictates to the elite league,” said Zifa in a statement.
This comes at a time the platinum miners are in the midst of preparing for their preliminary round clash against Costa do Sol of Mozambique later this month.
And they are again paying a huge price for their dismal performance in previous campaigns, as they are starting the competition in the preliminary round, with high hopes of doing better.
However they will have to make do without the Dutchman bellowing instructions on the touchline with Patrick Mandizha set to take charge.
Mandizha is the only assistant coach, following the departure of Lizwe Sweswe.
In this situation it remains to be seen if they will be able to sail beyond the group phase, which is one of the reasons why De Jongh was hired.
Going beyond the groups has remained elusive for them having failed in their last three attempts, although they have been brimming with confidence for better strides since the arrival of the Dutchman in January.