Orlando Pirates uncertain over if and when Zinnbauer will return


Orlando Pirates are uncertain over the future of their German head coach Josef Zinnbauer following his emergency return back home to Germany.

Zinnbauer rushed off to the airport following Orlando Pirates’ 3-0 MTN8 Soweto Derby victory over Kaizer Chiefs to catch an emergency flight back home to Germany due to an undisclosed family crisis.

Orlando Pirates administrative manager Floyd Mbele confirmed that the club were aware of the family emergency for over a week already however amidst uncertainty, Mbele confirmed that Zinnbauer’s return now rests solely on the German honoring his contract at the club while an estimated time of return is impossible to predict right now.

Orlando Pirates sweating over Zinnbauer return

Minutes after guiding Orlando Pirates to a historic 3-0 win over rivals Kaizer Chiefs, Zinnbauer confirmed that he’ll be heading back home to attend a family crisis. The club later released a statement confirming that special ‘leave’ had been granted to their manager.

The statement also claimed that Zinnbauer will be returning to lead the Buccaneers and Mbele has since shed light on when and if the German will be returning.

“We knew about Zinnbauer’s family issue 10 days before the match, we were being kept abreast throughout but it was a matter of when he wants to leave, before or after the derby or even after the international break. We (Orlando Pirates management) left the decision to him.” – Floyd Mbele told SAFM.

“We are not sure when he will come back. We are leaving everything to the coach because this is a sensitive matter. 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.”

Fadlu Davids to step in as head coach

Zinnbauer’s assistant coach Fadlu Davids has been tasked with leading Orlando Pirates. The former Maritzburg United mentor will take charge of the team against Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday night however there remains uncertainty over who’ll be leading the team on Saturday night’s MTN8 semi-final second leg Soweto Derby.

“Right now our focus is on the game against Bloemfontein Celtic, Fadlu Davids will lead the team. As for the derby, we will deal with that match after Wednesday, whether the coach is back or not.” Orlando Pirates administrative manager Floyd Mbele added.

Orlando Pirates will be hoping their off field instability doesn’t hamper them in a crucial week of league and cup football. The Buccaneers made a major statement over the weekend by thumping Orlando Pirates however their performance has been overshadowed by the abrupt departure of their head coach.

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