Zifa has since made an application for the work permit on Saintfiet’s behalf and is waiting for a response from the responsible authority, but the coach has fallen out of favour even with some members who backed his appointment in the first place after his latest move.
Zifa board member for marketing Nigel Munyati confirmed to IndependentSport that the coach was under scrutiny over his actions and they were reconsidering his appointment.
“The issue is now much more complicated than it was, we have a meeting next week and we will have to look into Saintfiet’s issue after his move to give us an ultimatum,” said Munyati.
“How do you take legal action against your employer even before you have started working? We have to consider now whether we will be able to have a good working relationship with him after this and whether he is the right man to take charge of the team. We will have to take a position at our next meeting, but what he did has made worse an already complicated situation.”
Saintfiet was ordered to leave Zimbabwe on the eve of the team’s African Cup of Nations qualifier against Cape Verde on October 10, which ended in a nil-all draw. The former Namibia senior national team coach, frustrated by the delays in the processing of his papers, threatened legal action against both Zifa and the immigration department.
Through his lawyers he demanded that Zifa creates a conducive working environment for him within 48 hours so that he could assume his duties, or the association risked being reported to Fifa.
Other Zifa board members echoed Munyati’s sentiments and it is now highly unlikely that they would allow him to remain as Warriors coach. And having already relinquished his post with Namibia, the Belgian might have scored an own goal.
“We can’t employ somebody like that, he is turning against the people who have been backing him all the way,” another board member who asked for anonymity said. “It’s a bad start and it may just end here.”
Sources at Zifa said the mother body was already looking at the legal implications of firing Saintfiet.
While they agree that the Saintfiet project should be abandoned, the members are, however, divided on who should take over with one camp opposing the appointment of Norman Mapeza who presided on a caretaker basis in the last two matches.
Mapeza has, however, been told to prepare a list of players they intend to call up for the November 17 international friendly match.
Zimbabwe was expected to play Zambia on the day, but it looks like the Warriors will clash with Mozambique after being snubbed by Chipolopolo. — Staff Writer.