Ethiopia appoints Tom Saintfiet as head coach
Addis Ababa – Ethiopia have appointed former Zimbabwe and Namibia manager Tom Saintfiet as coach in place of Briton Iffy Onuora, who was sacked last month on “disciplinary grounds”, according to Reuters report.
According to sports journalist Ermias Amare, Saintfiet has signed a Ã¢â‚¬Å“3-months contractÃ¢â‚¬Â with the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF). He is expected to arrive here in the capital in the next 4 days.
The 38-year old Belgian, whose contract details were not disclosed by the Ethiopian Football Federation on Thursday, will take charge of the Horn of Africa nation when they meet Nigeria at home next month in an African Cup of Nations qualifier.
His predecessor Onuora was sacked just 10 months into his two-year contract.
Officials said they had taken into consideration Onuora’s sending-off against Madagascar in October, which led to him being banned for a game in Nigeria in March, and unflattering comments attributed to him by British tabloid newspapers.
Ethiopia, nicknamed the Walya Antelopes, are third in Nations Cup Group B, three points behind Nigeria and four behind surprise leaders Guinea.
Bio Ã¢â‚¬â€œ (Wikipedia)
Tom Saintfiet (born 29 March 1973 inÃ‚Â Mol,Ã‚Â Belgium) was the Head coach of theÃ‚Â Zimbabwe National Football Team from September – November 2010.
He played football between 1983 to 1997 before becoming a football manager at the age of 24, becoming the youngest manager inÃ‚Â Belgian football.
|Full name||Tom Saintfiet|
|Date of birth||29 March 1973Ã‚Â (ageÃ‚Â 38)|
|Place of birth||Mol,Ã‚Â Belgium|
|Ã¢â‚¬â€œ||K.F.C. Lommel S.K.|
|Ã¢â‚¬â€œ||K.F.C. Verbroedering Geel|
|1997-2001||Lower Belgian Divisions|
|2000||F.C. Satelitte Abidjan|
|2003-2004||Al-Gharafa Sports Club|
|2006-2007||FC Emmen Technical Director|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 2010. Ã¢â‚¬Â Appearances (Goals).|
Saintfiet has coached in several countries;Ã‚Â Belgium,Ã‚Â Qatar,Ã‚Â Germany,Ã‚Â Faroe Islands,Ã‚Â Finland andÃ‚Â Holland. He has also worked inÃ‚Â Africa, becoming the Head Coach ofÃ‚Â Namibia andÃ‚Â Zimbabwe. Before going toÃ‚Â Namibia, Saintfiet was manager ofÃ‚Â Finnish Premier League clubÃ‚Â RoPS Rovaniemi. In 2002, Tom Saintfiet coached Faroese minnowsÃ‚Â B71 and finished second in the Faroe Islands First Division. He then went on to become coach atÃ‚Â Al-Ittihad Sports Club ofÃ‚Â Qatar(now calledÃ‚Â Al-Gharafa Sports Club). In 2004 he Coached the Qatar U17 team to third place in the AFC Asian Championships and qualified for the U17 FIFA World Championships. Prior toÃ‚Â FIFA World Cup 2010, Saintfiet was one of the candidates to lead the African Super Eagles,Ã‚Â Nigeria, for the World Cup campaign inÃ‚Â South Africa.
Saintfiet started very successfully withÃ‚Â Namibia by beatingÃ‚Â Comoros andÃ‚Â Malawi and playing a draw againstÃ‚Â Lesotho in the Cosafa Senior Challenge Cup inSouth Africa in July 2008. Namibia were eliminated from the Quarter Final at the hands of subsequent winner and host South Africa. Saintfiet’s achievements included defeatingÃ‚Â Zimbabwe 4-2 in aÃ‚Â 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier andÃ‚Â Congo DR 4-0 in a friendly. Three days after drawing 1-1 away toLebanon on April 2009,Ã‚Â Namibia once again got an impressive result with a 0-0 draw away toÃ‚Â Angola. Arguably his most satisfying result came inÃ‚Â Durban, when Namibia drew 1-1 with South Africa after leading for much of the game. Namibia had only won 1 game out of 12 in the months before Saintfiet’s arrival. After these performances, theÃ‚Â Namibian press nicknamed Saintfiet “The Saint“ and one even newspaper called him “The Messiah”.
After being heavily linked with the job, Sainfiet emerged successful through a shortlist of 15 candidates and signed a 4 year contract with ZIFA on 1 October 2010. In November,Ã‚Â Zimbabwean immigration authorities refused to issue a work permit to the Warriors coach and Saintfiet was deported. TheÃ‚Â Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has appealed the decision taken by the department of immigration to turn down Saintfiet’swork permit application for national team coach and a decision will be announced shortly. On the 10th October,Ã‚Â Zimbabwe playedÃ‚Â Cape Verde inÃ‚Â Harare in aÃ‚Â 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualification match, the game resulted in a 1-1 draw. Sainfiet had trained the squad prior to the match although he was made to leave the camp due to the issues regarding work permits. From his base inÃ‚Â Namibia, Saintfiet, put in place the tactics and selected the National team squad that beatÃ‚Â Mozambique 3-1 in the following match. After being refused a work permit by the immigration department for a second time, Saintfiet was forced to leave his role as Senior Men’s National Head Coach ofÃ‚Â Zimbabwe in October 2010.
Shabab Al Ordon
In late December 2010, Tom signed an 18 Month contract with 2007Ã‚Â AFC Cup winners,Ã‚Â Shabab Al Ordon. Again working wonders with his defence organisation, his team has only conceded one goal in their first five matches with Saintfiet in charge.
Saintfiet holds theÃ‚Â UEFA Pro Licence, which he achieved in 2000.
Between 2006 and 2007 he was Technical Director forÃ‚Â FC Emmen (Dutch First Division) and also worked as an advisor for theÃ‚Â Football Federation of Kazakhstan.
He has also worked as a TV football Analyst forÃ‚Â Belgian,Ã‚Â South African andÃ‚Â Namibian Television and has worked as a translator for the DFB. He studied Sport psychology and Economic psychology.
Saintfiet speaks many languages and is fluent inÃ‚Â Dutch,Ã‚Â English,Ã‚Â French,Ã‚Â German,Ã‚Â Faroese and has a basic knowledge ofÃ‚Â Arabic,Ã‚Â Afrikaans andÃ‚Â Spanish.
DuringÃ‚Â FIFA World Cup 2010, Saintfiet wrote columns for theÃ‚Â Belgian Media (Sport/Voetbal Magazine) andÃ‚Â Japanese Media.
As of 21 November 2010
|Al-Gharafa Sports Club||2003||2004||Ã¢â‚¬â€|
- 2009 Runner-up Coach of the Year (Sports Awards 2009 Namibia Sport Commission)
- 2008 Coach of the Year (The Namibian) & Most Famous Sport Celebrity (InformantÃƒÂ©)
- 2008-2010 15 Official FIFA-matches,Ã‚Â Namibia climb 30 positions inÃ‚Â FIFA World Rankings
- 2008+2009 Quarter FinalÃ‚Â COSAFA Cup (South Africa)
- 2005 Qualified for Semi-Final of the NFV-Cup (Germany)
- 2005 Winner of the McDonald’s Cup (Germany)
- 2004 3rd position (Bronze Medal) in theÃ‚Â 2004 AFC U-17 Championship inÃ‚Â Japan, September 2004. Qualified for theÃ‚Â 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship
- 2002 2nd in the League and theÃ‚Â Silver Medal (The Faroe Islands)