HIGHLANDERS FC coach Hendrikus Pieter de Jongh took a dig into Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) and the Premier Soccer league (PSL) for allowing local matches to proceed while the World Football Association (Fifa) calendar shows there will be an international break.
The Warriors are preparing for their African Cup of nations (Afcon) group H qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia national teams.
The Joey Antipas-coached team will play against Botswana on Friday before taking on Chipolopolo the next week.
Bosso have a league encounter with Ngezi Platinum Stars on Wednesday in Bulawayo and De Jongh is lamenting over the absence of his top marksman, Prince Dube, who will be attending to national duty.
“It’s sad how things are done in Zimbabwe.
“Every league is observing the Fifa international break but we have matches to fulfil, including pressing mid-week matches that come only two days after the Sunday match. Fifa rules are clear and simply – when there are qualifying games, the league should break but it’s only in Zimbabwe where we are doing it differently. It’s not good for football at all.”
Zifa and the PSL must follow Fifa rules. Yes, PSL rules state that when a team has more than three players called up for national duty, they are excused but look at it this way, PSL is under Zifa and Zifa is under Fifa.
“We are forced to play six games in just two weeks: it’s bad for my player and also for football.
“Africa should be organised. We have talent and potential, but we let ourselves down by organisational capacity,” he said.
After the Sunday match against ZPC Kariba, De Jongh told the media that he was going to release Prince Dube for the Warriors only after the Ngezi Platinum Stars match.
On Tuesday, he said he was surprised to learn that Dube had gone to Harare.
“I can’t say I released Prince because we had agreed with Antipas and Zifa that we organise a plane for Prince after the Wednesday match, but Zifa and other people went behind my back and told Prince to come to Harare.
“Interestingly, coach Antipas will take charge of his team on Wednesday so is his assistant Tonderayi Ndiraya, and I wonder who will be in charge of the Warrior’s team then; maybe their kit manager (laughs).
“I called the Zifa chief executive and asked why we don’t observe the International break yet everyone does, and he said he will call me back but he never did, maybe he didn’t have airtime,” de Jongh said.