Zimbabwe: FC Platinum Still Waiting, Hoping

16 September 2020

FC Platinum coach, Hendrik Pieter De Jongh, remains a worried man, concerned his men will be undercooked when they plunge into the CAF Champions League this year.

The Government on Monday hinted football could be back into action this year but a lot of areas still needed to be covered.

The CAF Champions League is expected to get underway in November and the Zvishavane side had applied for a special waiver to, at least, start training.

They are yet to receive a response.

Club spokesperson, Chido Chizondo, said they have everything ready for a safe return to group training but they are yet to get feedback from the authorities.

"No progress as yet, we are just waiting for the authorities to give us the go ahead," she said.

"We had hoped that we would get that go-ahead from the Ministry yesterday, so, I think what's just outstanding is the authorisation from the ministry.

"Our hands are tied at the moment.

"We are stuck between a rock and a very hard place, we are geared up and ready to resume, at least, training but without authorisation there isn't much we can do.

"We are ready to resume, all the necessary preparations, including following the required guidelines, everything is in order."

Coach De Jongh said, considering the lost time, he feels they need all the support they can get now to ensure they are ready.

"We will start participating in the CAF Champions League in November and, as Platinum, we want to be back to training as a group," the Dutchman said.

"As the head coach, I need enough time for training with the whole team on technical, and tactical, areas.

"That is important.

"We must not forget that, for close to six months, we did not train as a team and did not have any games.

"As FC Platinum, we are representing the country in the CAF Champions League. It is the highest platform of club football in Africa.

"People who say that a short preparation is possible, have no football knowledge.

"If we could start with our training, next week, then we will have enough time to make sure that we are ready for the CAF Champions League."

De Jongh said they have everything in place for a safe return to group training and is optimistic they will get a waiver.

"Everything at the club, for protection against coronavirus, is in place," he said.

"Success in CAF Champions League is success for the whole of Zimbabwe."

He also spoke about the departure of attacking midfielder, Last Jesi, who was on loan at the club, and has joined Sudanese giants, Al Hilal.

"In football it is normal that players come and leave. Selection at FC Platinum is big and (there is a) lot of quality," he said.

"We have our plans at FC Platinum already about our selection and the space now is coming after Jesi left.

"I wish Jesi success with his new challenge in Sudan."

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