WARRIORS' coach Klaus Dieter Pagels flew back to his homeland, Germany, on Friday with Zifa quickly moving in to provide re-assurance that he was not set to be deported as his papers were not in order following the changes effected in his employment status.
Pagels was appointed national team coach following the resignation of Rahman Gumbo who was in charge of the Warriors' 2012 Nations Cup campaign.
"He left on Friday, but I must state that his departure had nothing to do with his status, it's annual leave and he will be back early next month," Zifa board member, Benedict Moyo, said.
Moyo said as an employee of Zifa, Pagels could be assigned to any other duties as long as it was within the football family.
The German coach was hired on a Government-to-Government agreement as a technical advisor to Zifa with sources in the Immigration Department suggesting to our sister paper Chronicle that he risked being deported if Zifa did not regularise his status.
According to the sources, if a foreigner is hired for a job other than the one he was initially given, a work permit for, that person should apply for a new work permit.
"The work permit is granted on the basis of your application and sworn statements, but when you change jobs, chances are that certain requirements also change, like qualifications and reasons and hence the need to re-apply," said the sources.
According to the document for application for a temporary employment permit in our possession, Item 12 of the requirements says the employer must also provide a Curriculum Vitae for two other short-listed candidates, including the contact details.
"This is meant to prove that indeed an opportunity was extended to locals," said the source.
In October 2010, Belgian Tom Saintfiet was forced out of the country after Zifa did not follow proper procedures in engaging him with the saga dragging for a long time, a situation also blamed for the country's failure to qualify for the 2012 Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
There were fears last week that Pagels, who came into the country as a technical director, risked being deported unless Zifa regularised his status with the Immigration Department following the changes in his status.
Part of the requirements that Zifa were supposed to have fulfilled included flighting an advert in the local newspapers advertising for the position of national team coach.
"In the event a local coach has been hired, that issue of the advert falls away because you do not need a work permit if you are a Zimbabwean, but now that they have hired a foreigner, Zifa needs to provide proof of the job advertisement that shows locals were not sidelined," said the sources in the Immigration Department.
Zifa chief executive, Jonathan Mashingaidze, said Pagels' status was being regularised following the changes to his employment status.
"His case is being handled at Government level and I don't want to comment least I ruffle some feathers," said Mashingaidze.
Pagels has already appointed his backroom staff with Peter Ndlovu and Lloyd Mutasa coming in as his assistants while Ian Gorowa will monitor the players based in South Africa. Nkululelo Dhlamini, the Monomotapa assistant coach, is the new goalkeeper's coach.
Shariff Mussa, a hugely popular figure among the players, bounces back as the Warriors' team manager after Zifa president, Cuthbert Dube, personally apologised to him and his family, in writing, following the way he was booted out of the same role last year.