The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
FC Platinum president, Fabian Mashingaidze has dismissed as speculation that the club is paying their former coach Pieter de Jongh a US$120 000 golden handshake.
The three times in a row Zimbabwean champions parted ways with De Jongh last Friday in what the club said was a mutual parting of ways.
Norman Mapeza, who quit FC Platinum in September 2019 after years in charge replaced the Dutchman.
Speculation has been widespread that De Jongh was getting a US$120 000 payout since he had a contract that was expiring at the end of 2022. Mashingaidze explained that since the circumstances that led to the two parties going their separate ways were not caused by the coach or the club so they had to reach a mutual agreement.
“There is no golden handshake, it was mutual separation with no figures to talk about, these figures that are being thrown around are just mere speculation,’’ Mashingaidze said.
He stated that when FC Platinum hired De Jongh, he was qualified to sit on the bench until Caf changed the rules recently that coaches who were trained outside Africa, only valid Pro license holders are exempted.
“When we engaged him, he was qualified to sit on the bench, it was not his fault nor the club’s fault. We negotiated and agreed, both parties are happy, he is happy, we are happy, we put the club ahead of everything,’’ said Mashingaidze.
He pointed to the fact that they were able to call upon former coach Mapeza who did not take time to agree to a return as testimony that they always part with coaches in an amicable manner.
FC Platinum supporters felt that the way De Jongh treated Lizwe Sweswe contributed to his downfall. Sweswe left FC Platinum last month when it became clear that it would be difficult to work with De Jongh who wanted him out.
“Farewell coach, for sure football is a crazy game, you shouldn’t have fired Lizwe, probably you would have survived the chop because he could have stood in for you, it’s sad you are going without winning a trophy for us, Till we meet again,’’ posted the FC Platinum supporters on Twitter.
Mapeza conducted his first training session yesterday at Mandava Stadium ahead of the team’s Caf Champions League preliminary round fixture against Costa de Sol of Mozambique, whose first leg is taking place on Saturday.
“I can’t wait to work, we are having a massive game over the weekend against Costa de Sol so preparations start today,’’ said Mapeza yesterday. FC Platinum head out for Mozambique on Thursday. – @Mdawini_29.