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Page last updated at 14:08 GMT, Wednesday, 22 September 2010 15:08 UK

Namibia coach Tom Saintfiet in Zimbabwe job row

Steve Vickers
BBC Sport, Harare

Tom Saintfiet
Saintfiet has a four-year contract with Namibia

The proposed appointment of Belgian Tom Saintfiet as national coach has caused a huge storm in Zimbabwe.

The media and vast majority of fans would like the acting coach Norman Mapeza to be given the job on a permanent basis.

For their part, Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) officials are hopelessly divided over the matter.

A press conference to unveil Saintfiet as the new Warriors boss was abruptly cancelled last Saturday.

Saintfiet, who is midway through a four-year contract with the Namibia national team, is currently in Harare.

But on Wednesday Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze told BBC Sport: "There's still no news, there won't be an announcement today."

A Zifa technical committee recommended that Saintfiet be employed although Zimbabwe would have to buy out his contract with the Namibia FA.

But against a background of severe financial problems, Zifa chairman Cuthbert Dube took a different line.

He stated categorically that Zimbabwe would not replace former Warriors captain Mapeza with the Belgian coach.

Mapeza earned the respect of Warriors fans by getting Zimbabwe off to a good start in the qualifiers for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, with a 1-1 draw away to Liberia.

Saintfiet's arrival has re-ignited the argument over the merits of a foreign coach, especially as Zimbabwe's two appearances at the Nations Cup finals have come under the guidance of local coaches.

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see also
2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers
10 Apr 10 |  African
Zimbabwe football chief suspended
29 Jul 10 |  African
Zifa's suspended chief charged
17 Aug 10 |  African
Chidzambwa quits Zimbabwe post
04 May 10 |  African
Warriors' pride in Brazil test
03 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Fond memories of Fabisch
15 Jul 08 |  African

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