Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer’s son is fighting for his life in hospital, according to reports coming in from Germany.
The 50-year-old made a shock announcement moments before kick-off in the Buccaneers’ 3-0 victory against rivals Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday when he announced that he would leave shortly after the final whistle.
Family crisis forces Orlando Pirates coach to return home
An official statement from Pirates revealed that the reason the German mentor was heading home was that his son was in hospital, but did not get into further detail.
According to Bild, the coach’s 24-year-old son Fabio, who is also a budding footballer, fell into a coma after a horror crash last month.
“A serious accident happened on Münchener Strasse in Nuremberg on October 23. The 24-year-old Skoda driver is in mortal danger,” the publication reports.
“It is the son of Joe Zinnbauer . The ex-HSV coach [now in South Africa with Orlando Pirates] is very worried about Fabio.
“Fabio is seriously injured and is in a coma. The police are investigating. How it came to the horror crash at 1pm has not yet been clarified.”
No time frame for Zinnbauer return
Zinnbauer will not be present in the Pirates dugout when they travel to the Free State to face Bloemfontein Celtic at Dr Molemela Stadium on Wednesday. Assistant coach Fadlu Davids will take over the reins for the encounter.
It is still unclear whether the German will be back in South Africa in time for the crucial second leg of the MTN 8 semifinal tie against Chiefs on Saturday.
Buccaneers’ general manager Floyd Mbele said the club was not sure when Zinnbauer would return.
“We are leaving everything to the coach because this is a sensitive matter,” he told SAFM. “We do expect him to come back because he has a contract with the club and has to fulfill his obligations. But there is no time frame.”