Zim champions fire coach over CAF ban

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Harare - Following the decision by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to bar Hendrikus Pieter De-Jongh from sitting on the bench in the 2020-21 African Champions League, Zimbabwe’s representatives in the continental competition, FC Platinum, have dumped the Dutch gaffer with immediate effect.

De-Jongh holds of a UEFA A License but does not have a CAF A License, so he cannot sit on the bench in matches commissioned by the continental football administrative body.

FC Platinum had asked for a waiver, but that appeal was unsuccessful. The club have decided to ditch the coach and turn to Norman Mapeza, who bounces back as the coach of the Zimbabwe champions just a year after his abrupt departure for South Africa’s PSL.

In statement, FC Platinum president Fabian Mashingaidze said, “Consequent to the position by CAF … action has been taken to ascertain the continuity of the club in the CAF Champions League campaign and locally. The FC Platinum board and executive would like to advise all stakeholders and the public in general, the common decision between coach Hendrikus Pieter De-Jongh and the club executive to part ways for the greater good of the club.”

Mapeza, a famed midfielder in Europe in the 1990s, won two league titles with FC Platinum.

“We are pleased to announce the return of Norman Mapeza to take the team forward. Coach Mapeza has a proven record of success with the club having won two PSL titles in addition to leading the CAF Champions league charge. Mapeza takes the team fully aware of the club’s vision which he has taken part in building and now seeks to attain in a fresh challenge,” said Mashingaidze.

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