Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS FC coach Hendrik Pieter de Jongh has taken a fresh dig at the Premier Soccer League and Zifa for not observing Fifa guidelines on international breaks.
This comes a day after Chicken Inn and Warriors interim head coach Joey Antipas also blasted the PSL for scheduling league fixtures during the international break.
The PSL released a full fixture schedule for today, tomorrow and this coming weekend despite the fact that the Warriors will be on international duty on Friday.
De Jongh’s Bosso square off with Ngezi Platinum Stars at Barbourfields Stadium this afternoon without the services of chief striker Prince Dube, who is part of the Warriors camp preparing for an Afcon qualifier against Botswana at the National Sports Stadium on Friday.
The Dutchman had wanted to hold onto the striker, saying he had been granted permission by Antipas to have the forward join the Warriors’ camp after today’s league match. Bosso were going to fly Dube to Harare this evening after the game.
However, Warriors’ team manager Wellington Mpandare is said to have made direct contact with the striker and convinced him to travel to Harare on Monday. All this is alleged to have happened behind the club’s back.
What seems to have agitated the Dutchman the most is that Antipas is set to join Chicken Inn in Bindura where they face Mushowani Stars.
It was not clear yesterday whether Dynamos and Harare City would be releasing their coaches Tonderai Ndiraya and Lloyd Chitembwe, respectively, as their teams have important league assignments.
“I agree with Antipas, this is disorganisation from the PSL and this is not good for our football. It’s not good for the fans and the teams as well. What is strange is l had agreed with the Warriors’ camp to have Dube join the national team on Thursday, but you have the team manager calling Dube behind my back and Antipas’ back. That is not how professional institutions operate,” said De Jongh.
“I called the Zifa CEO yesterday trying to seek answers and he said he would come back to me, but he did not call back. All l am saying is this is disorganisation. My club CEO had arranged all the travel arrangements for Dube, but Zifa went behind our backs.
“It’s not true that if your club has no more than three players in the national team then you can play a competitive match during the break, it’s not true. That is a Zifa and PSL rule. l am talking of Fifa rules and Fifa rules override PSL rules. We will try to work on a good result in tomorrow’s game. It won’t be easy, but we are in a good mood, good spirits.
“We have other players who can do the job. We did it against Dynamos and Yadah, so l don’t think replacing players will be a problem; the only problem is PSL and Zifa, who l feel should follow the Fifa rules. They are not my rules, but Fifa rules. Myself and Antipas are the only ones complaining; other coaches are quiet, but this is not good for our football. All over the world the FAs listen to coaches, so it is my hope that in future we won’t have situations such as this one. We respect our opponents; they are a good side and only two points separate us on the table. We are in a good mood, we want to continue with our good run”.
Bosso will also miss the services of central defender Andrew Mbeba for today’s clash, as he is serving a suspension.
Bosso and Ngezi have met seven times in the league since the Mhondoro-based outfit gained promotion in 2016. They have drawn once and have each registered three wins. The first-leg encounter played at Baobab Stadium in the first half of the season ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
The two sides are also set to meet in the Chibuku Super Cup final on a date and venue yet to be advised. – @innocentskizoe