Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS coach Hendrik Pieter de Jongh and Chicken Inn gaffer Joey Antipas have each been slapped with $1 250 fines for taking a dig at the Premier Soccer League over fixture congestion.
The two coaches attacked the PSL and Zifa for not observing Fifa guidelines on international breaks when the league released fixtures when the Warriors were preparing for the 2021 Afcon qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia.
The league charged the two coaches for breaching Article of the Standing orders which reads: “If a player or official makes comments in the media or social media in which they imply bias, question the integrity or any comments which brings the League and /or its sponsors into disrepute or are abusive, offensive and /or insulting and are also considered to be football related then the individual is guilty of an offence”.
According to the regulation, a fine of $1 250 will be imposed on the Club to which the person is attached and the Club must advise in writing of the action taken to discipline the individual.
“If no action is taken by the Club within 14 days, the initial fine is doubled and the Club being advised in writing.”
De Jongh attacked the league in the build up to Highlanders match against Ngezi Platinum Stars as he wanted his chief striker Prince Dube who was part of the Warriors camp preparing for an Afcon qualifier against Botswana, to play this important match.
The Dutchman claimed he had been granted permission by Antipas to have the forward join the Warriors’ camp late after their league game against Ngezi.
“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.
“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,” fumed De Jongh.
Antipas, then acting Warriors camp had said:
“It’s only fair that I have to give due attention to my team because that’s my bread and butter,’’ said Antipas.
“So, I will see how I will balance the scales. But this whole thing is a mess because this is a Fifa week. Everywhere in the world there are no local games being played.
“Mind you, the national team games take priority over the domestic programme. I think we had too many stoppages during the season and now it is the clubs that are paying heavily for that.”
Meanwhile, the league has asked Triangle United coach Taurai Mangwiro to explain the comments he made after his team was knocked out of the Chibuku Super Cup 3-1 by Harare City.
Mangwiro had alleged that the fixture schedule was not fair on their part as they did not have enough time to prepare for the game.
“I don’t think we were given a fair chance to defend our title. How do you expect the team that is representing the country to be in action three days later?
“Is it a crime to be part of the Caf Confederation Cup? I don’t understand this. We played on a Sunday and we travelled back to Triangle on a Monday and travel back to Harare on a Tuesday and play the game on a Wednesday.
“This is not fair. We didn’t even have time to conduct a single session,” fumed Mangwiro. — @ZililoR.