Former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has lashed out at the Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) after reports that he had been fired as the Sables’ head coach.
De Villiers was appointed Zimbabwe head coach in February 2018 with a mandate to qualify for Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2019 in Japan.
The Sables failed in that objective‚ although the dismissal appears to be based on De Villiers’ absence from work after the coach stayed in South Africa to support his cancer-stricken daughter through the first half of this year.
De Villiers told SowetanLive yesterday that at a disciplinary hearing he attended recently‚ he was accused of manufacturing the seriousness of the illness.
“When I went for the hearing I was locked out of the flat I had in Harare because they (ZRU) hadn’t paid the rent‚” De Villiers said.
“They are claiming I faked my child’s sickness‚ so those are the kind of people I’m dealing with. How the hell can they say that? They are not honourable people.”
Attempts to reach the ZRU were unsuccessful and there has been no official statement about De Villiers’ sacking.
“The problems began when the deputy president started selecting teams‚” De Villiers said.
“It got to the point that I would arrive at the airport to go away for a game and the players were the ones he picked. Despite this‚ I enjoyed standing up for the boys.
“It is bad to me because they don’t seem to value their own people. Players weren’t paid properly. I had to use money from my own pocket to keep the vibe in the team up.”
Another insider has told TimesLive that ZRU is looking for a way out of paying for a head coach now that they failed to qualify for the RWC 2019.
They will only re-look at the position closer to qualifying for the RWC 2023.
“I have told them I want to appeal their decision (to terminate his contract), but the ZRU claims it doesn’t have an appeal system. They won’t allow it‚” De Villiers said.
“But it’s hard because even if I fight‚ I’m not going to win. By that I mean that in South Africa‚ if I fight for something‚ I personally might lose out, but the fight will benefit the person following me.
“In Zimbabwe it won’t be like that. That has been an eye-opener. So why would I want to fight these people if there is no gain for the person following me?
“I am very proud of the decisions I made to support my daughter. Because at the end of all this nonsense‚ you have to answer the question: ‘was I there when it mattered’?
“She is getting better every day. God is good. That is more than winning and losing this nonsense with the ZRU. God gives illness‚ but also supports you through it. If God gives you those hardships to carry‚ who the hell are those people to tell me such nonsense?
“I gave them (ZRU) all the necessary documentation and letters of support from medical professionals stating that my daughter nearly died.
“They tried to reject them because a stamp was missing. But things don’t happen without a greater cause. I’m grateful for the course I’ve been on because the lessons I’ve learnt can change other people’s lives.”
In terms of his immediate future De Villiers said he was unsure of what he would do next.
He won’t return to Zimbabwe‚ even if there is an appeal and he wins.
“I don’t have any other options right now‚ but there are options coming. God will provide‚ I just don’t see it yet. You don’t go through this for nothing. The one thing I’m praying for is that I won’t change.” — TimesLive