Harare - Zimbabwe's sole representative in 2020-2021 African inter-club competitions, FC Platinum, have been dealt a major blow after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) barred its head coach, Hendrikus Piet de Jongh, from sitting on the bench until he acquires pre-requisite qualifications.
FC Platinum wrote to CAF seeking an exemption for de Jongh to sit on the bench, but the continental football governing authority turned them down.
It is mandatory for all coaches participating in CAF inter-club competitions to have the CAF A Coaching License, with the only exemption being given to holders of the Pro License.
"A CAF A coaching License is a prerequisite for all coaches who participate in CAF inter-club competitions. For coaches from other confederations and those who were trained outside Africa, only valid Pro License holders are exempted," said a statement from CAF in response to the FC Platinum request for an exemption.
De Jongh holds a UEFA A License, which he obtained in his native country of The Netherlands.
The CAF decision means de Jongh cannot sit on the bench during matches and his back-up staff will handle all matters for the team in the 90 minutes of play.
FC Platinum were drawn against Costa do Sol of Mozambique in the preliminary round of the CAF Champions League. The first leg will be played in the November 27-29, 2020 window in Mozambique; with the second leg scheduled for Zimbabwe a week later.