Ibenge turns down offer to coach Simba SC: ‘I have a job already’

Florent Ibenge
The DR Congo tactician now says he is not available to take up the coaching role at Wekundu wa Msimbazi

As Vita Club coach Frolent Ibenge has openly claimed he is not ready to coach Tanzania champions Simba SC.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) tactician is among 55 coaches being considered to take charge of the Wekundu wa Msimbazi after the sudden exit of Belgian Sven Vandenbroeck.

The Belgian left Simba a day after guiding them to their third Caf Champions League group stage appearance in history after beating FC Platinum of Zimbabwe 4-1 on aggregate.

However, Ibenge, who also handles the DRC national team has come out to state that he was aware Simba were keen on his services but he was not available because he is committed elsewhere.

“Simba are a big and competitive team in the Mainland Premier League as well as the African Champions League, I can't deny that,” Ibenge said as quoted by Sokalabongo.

“I know they need my service and that is clear even last season they needed me but the problem is that I am currently an AS Vita and DR Congo coach.

“If I didn't have a team then I would say how it will go but for now let’s wait and see if I’m still in Congo with my AS Vita team.”

In a recent interview, Simba CEO Barbara Gonzalez confirmed that despite receiving over 55 applicants for the vacant job, the club will not be in a hurry to bring in a replacement.

“When it comes to getting a new coach, the process is usually lengthy since it requires much attention by going through all the available documents,” Gonzalez said as quoted by Daily News.

“If you make decisions in a hurry to find him, it may affect you throughout the whole season,” she noted.

Gonzalez named some of the nationalities of the CVs that reached the club were from SerbiaFrancePortugal, and many others from different parts of the world.

“We have put in place key requirements of the incoming coach we need like club coaching experience. If you remember, when Vandenbroeck came in, he had vast experience at national team level only and it took more time for him to catch up.

“He should also have experience in Caf club tournaments as among other essential requirements for the job’s qualification.”

Goal understands Rene Weiler is also among the favourites to take up the job after a source within the club confirmed the 47-year-old tactician from Switzerland is likely to replace Vandenbroeck.

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“Weiler has become the clear favourite to take over the reins at Simba,” the source, who did not want to be named, told Goal.

“He is currently a free agent after leaving Al Ahly of Egypt and that puts him ahead of the rest of the coaches who have applied for the job.”

Vandenbroeck left Simba in second position to Yanga with 35 points, nine behind the leaders, but with three matches in hand.