The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWEAN champions FC Platinum have parted ways with coach Pieter de Jongh with the club announcing that they have brought in their former gaffer Norman Mapeza to replace the Dutchman.
The decision by FC Platinum followed the club’s failure to get an exemption for De Jongh from the Confederation of African Football for him to be allowed to sit on the bench for the Caf Champions League since he does not have a Caf A licence.
In statement released on Friday, FC Platinum president Fabian Mashingaidze the decision to go separate ways with De Jongh was for the good of the club.
“The FC Platinum board and executive would like toa 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 of the club,’’ said Mashingaidze.
He thanked De Jongh and those he was working with to get FC Platinum back to competing at expected levels. De Jongh, in the only recognised match he was in charge led FC Platinum to winning the Castle Challenge Cup with a 2-0 triumph over Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium in March this year.
“Circumstances outside both parties’ expectations have necessitated the position. The management board and executive wish coach De Jongh all the success in his future endevours,’’ Mashingaidze said.
Mashingaidze went on to announce that they had engaged Mapeza, a man who won two titles in a row with the Zvishavane based club. Mapeza quit FC Platinum in September last year and caretaker coach Lizwe Sweswe went on to land the third championship in a row for Pure Platinum Play.
“We are pleased to announce the return of 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 attain a fresh challenge, he comes in ready to go,’’ said Mashingaidze.
FC Platinum are preparing to face Costa de Sol of Mozambique in the Caf Champions League preliminary round whose first leg is at the end of the month.