(Origially by Sports Reporters of The Chronicle titled Madinda takes charge of Warriors)
MADINDA “Khathazile” Ndlovu was yesterday announced as acting head coach of the Warriors who face Cape Verde in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Zifa board member responsible for national teams, Benedict Moyo, confirmed that Ndlovu had been given the assignment to run the show with the aid of Norman Mapeza.
Moyo made the announcement following the departure of Tom Saintfiet to South Africa after he had been served with deportation papers on Tuesday ending his two-week stay in the country on a sour note.
The Department of Immigration asked Saintfiet to leave the country while they processed his papers for a work permit.
In an interview last night Moyo claimed that the announcement was met with a thumbs up from the players. He said the Warriors called for Zifa to be supportive in their build-up to Sunday’s match.
“The announcement was made before the first session today. So far so good, the morale and response to the news that Madinda would be in charge with Mapeza assisting him was welcomed by the players. The players called on Zifa to reciprocate their positive attitude towards everything to do with the camp and Sunday’s game,”said Moyo.
Moyo said it was heartening to note that players wanted to get on with their business of playing football.
Cape Verde arrive in the country tomorrow. Ndlovu had a good career at Highlanders, Zimbabwe Under-20, Under-23 and the senior national team. He single-handedly built the Highlanders brand before the emergence of Willard Khumalo, Mpumelelo Dzowa, Alexander Maseko, Tanny Banda, the late Mercedes Sibanda, Tito Paketh, the late David Phiri and Tutani Moyo in Bosso colours in the mid 1980s. He was unlucky not to be allowed by his club to move to the English First Division in 1985, where he would have joined Bruce Grobbelaar and made history for his club and country as the first black player to make the grade at that level.
Meanwhile, German national Lutz Pfannestiel, who served a five-month jail term in Singapore and had a one-year worldwide ban from all football activities imposed by Fifa for match-fixing, was yesterday deported back to his native country.
Pfannestiel was asked by Zifa, following recommendations by Tom Saintfiet, to come and assist the Warriors’ goalkeepers’ coaches. He is a Caf and Fifa goalkeepers’ coaching specialist and was due to conduct a coaching clinic for goalkeepers’ coaches in the country.
Zifa yesterday said he was not on their payroll.
“It is not true that we secretly hired the German national. He was here to assist us as a Caf and Fifa goalkeepers’ training specialist. Yes, he did save time but he has an Interpol clearance letter,” said Benedict Moyo, the Zifa board member responsible for competitions and national teams.
Moyo said following the realisation by the Zifa technical committee, which comprises of chairman Kenny Marange, Moyo, Methembe Ndlovu, Gift Banda, Solomon Mugavazi and Patrick Hokonya, that the country was lacking in the goalkeeping area, it was agreed to accept Saintfiet’s request to bring the German national on board for the Cape Verde game.
However the Department of IL,mmigration served Pfannestiel, who is reported to have been armed with an Interpol clearance letter, with thedeportation letter yesterday morning. He boarded a South African Airways plane at 1230hrs.
“Our laws do not allow convicts to enter our country. If one committed a crime anywhere in the world and whether you have a clearance letter or not, you are considered an illegal immigrant hence our reason to deport Pfannestiel,” Evans Siziba, the assistant chief immigration officer said in an interview yesterday.
Asked how the 37-year-old managed to slip into the country Siziba said they had not picked it that the he was a convicted criminal.
This adds another dilemma to the national team saga, which saw Warriors coach and Belgian national Saintfiet also being deported on Tuesday for working in the country without a work permit.
The country’s laws require that a work permit be applied for while the applicant is still outside the country and the process can take up to six weeks, unless there is a directive from the Minister of Home Affairs to the Department of Immigration to waiver certain requirements.