Zimbabwe premier soccer league champions, FC Platinum have been dealt a major blow after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) turned down their request to have Dutch coach Pieter De Jongh sit on the bench during their champions league matches.
The Dutchman does not have a CAF A licence and, as per CAF guidelines, therefore cannot sit on the bench during the club’s champions league matches.
FC Platinum will be away to Costa do Sol, on the weekend of November 27 to 29, in the first leg of the preliminary round. They will then host the Mozambicans between December 4 and 6.
In a statement, Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) communications manager, Xolisani Gwesela announced the development.
“The Confederation of African Football has turned down Hendrikus Pieter De Jongh and FC Platinum’s request for an exemption to allow the head coach to sit on the bench during CAF interclub matches.
“De Jongh is a holder of a UEFA A licence obtained in his native country Netherlands. A CAF A coaching licence is a pre-requisite for all coaches who participate in CAF interclub competitions,” said Gwesela.
He said only coaches from other confederations who are holders of valid Pro-licence were exempted.
“For coaches, from other confederations and those who were trained outside Africa, only valid Pro-licence holders are exempted.
“CAF club licensing criterion, on administration and personnel, demands that all persons should be qualified for positions that they hold within football structures.
“To complement CAF’s stance on promoting professionalisation of the game, ZIFA has also been gradually enforcing club licencing dictates in the elite league.”
Meanwhile, Patrick Mandizha the club’s assistant coach and could be tasked with directing matters, from the bench, in the matches against the Mozambican champions.