FURIOUS Namibian Football Association (NFA) officials have threatened to report ZIFA to the football world governing body following the contentious appointment of Belgian national Tom Saintfiet as the substantive Warriors coach.
ZIFA officials confirmed Saintfiet’s had been given the job in a development that divided the national association’s board and was generally opposed by local football fans.
However the Belgian was still contracted to the Namibian Football Association on a four-year deal as coach of the country’s senior national team.
The Namibians said they would report the matter to FIFA if Saintfiet breached his contract and took up the Warriors job.
“If it is proven that he has been talking to the Zimbabweans, we will have no choice but to take appropriate action and we will be guided by the rules and regulations regarding the transfer of players and coaches.
“We will definitely report this matter to Fifa because it’s unethical for ZIFA to engage in private talks with our coach without our consent,” NFA general secretary Barry Rukoko was reported as saying by the Sunday Mail newspaper.
Rukoko said ZIFA’s conduct had been “unethical” and warned that the spat could sour relations between the two associations.
“Saintfiet is still under contract with us and it would really be unethical for Zifa or anyone to engage in any sort of discussion with him without consulting us.
“We have always respected ZIFA and we have had good relations over the years and it would be sad if they gave (Saintfiet) the job like you are saying,” Rukoko said.
The Belgian takes over from Norman Mapeza who has been in caretaker charge of the Warriors since Sunday Chidzwambwa quit to take up a coaching post with a South African premiership side.
But the appointment Saintfiet’s appointment – recommended by a ZIFA committee has proved unpopular with local football fans and sections of the ZIFA board.
Fans argue the cash-strapped association does not have the resources to meet the salary requirements of a foreign coach.
Chidzambwa quit in frustration after going for months without being paid by ZIFA.
ZIFA board President Cuthbert Dube tried to block Saintfelt’s appointment insisting Mapeza should take over but admitted he had been overruled by his colleagues.
Dube said he had managed to persuade the former Warriors captain to stay on and help the Belgian as one of the assistant coaches.
“Norman will be part of the technical team as an assistant, I had to go for a compromise with the board.
“I would have loved to have him as the national team coach, but I don’t have the constitutional power to appoint him,” Dube said.