ZIFA in ridiculous Warriors coach appointment timeline

12 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
ZIFA in ridiculous Warriors coach appointment timeline

The Sunday Mail

. . . receives 151 applications, 12 of them Zimbabwean, with four locally-based

Langton Nyakwenda

THE ZIFA Normalisation Committee has said it will announce a new Warriors coach between now and Africa Day, leaving only two weeks before the team host Lesotho in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier in South Africa on June 7.

The Warriors will plunge into another battle four days later, being hosted by South Africa in the same qualifiers on June 11.

Football analysts say with such an absurd timeline for the appointment of the new coach, the committee has most likely settled on  someone who has worked with the team before to avoid experimenting with players.

Appointing a stranger to the Warriors setup just two weeks before such crucial qualifiers is a recipe for disaster, as the new coach would need more time to understand the players’ strengths and weaknesses, and how to effectively deploy them.

Given that foreign-based players have to be invited at least three weeks before a match, it looks like the new coach will work with a set of players selected by a technical committee that will be headed by ZIFA technical director Jethro Hunidzarira.

This has led some to believe that the ZIFA Normalisation Committee has already found its man, who is working with the technical committee to pick players for the two matches.

If the selection is done without the input of the new coach, then the gaffer will not have to take any responsibility in case the players imposed by ZIFA fail to deliver results.

In any case, there will be no time to send letters of invitation to players if the selection process has to wait for the official appointment of the coach in two weeks.

“The evaluation of the applicants is already underway, with a shortlist of the best-placed applicants set to be drawn up, from which the most suitable candidate for the post will be selected,” said ZIFA chief executive officer Yvonne Manwa.

“We expect to complete the entire process in the next two weeks.”

It has since emerged that there are 151 coaches, including four locally based ones, who applied for the job that has attracted interest from across the globe.

According to ZIFA, 139 non-Zimbabwean coaches applied, with only 12 being Zimbabwean.

Former Highlanders coach Baltemar Brito, African Cup of Nations winner Winfred Schaffer and Christopher Gamel of France are some of the foreigners interested in the job.

Legendary former Liverpool and Warriors keeper Bruce “Jungleman” Grobbelaar, Taurai Mangwiro and Saul Chaminuka are some of the Zimbabwean coaches on the list of applicants.

Those previously touted as potential Warriors coaches like Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa, Joey Antipas, Kalisto Pasuwa, Norman Mapeza, Kaitano Tembo and Rodwell Dhlakama did not bother to apply.

Should the new coach be a foreigner, then ZIFA should be racing against time to be able to process a work permit.

ZIFA are looking for a coach who has vast experience in African football and is a holder of either the CAF A or UEFA Pro qualification.

According to sources, Brazilian gaffer Brito was one of the first coaches to apply.

The former Highlanders man is eager to finish off the journey he started with the Warriors last year.

He was in charge on an interim basis when Zimbabwe played Rwanda and Nigeria in their opening two World Cup qualifiers in Huye last November.  The Warriors played out a goalless draw against Rwanda on November 15, before holding the Super Eagles 1-1 four days later.

Zimbabwe are in Group C of the 2026 CAF World Cup qualifiers, alongside South Africa, Benin, Rwanda, Nigeria and Lesotho.

Rwanda top the standings after two rounds of action with four points, one ahead of South Africa.

Nigeria, Lesotho and Zimbabwe are tied on two points, while Benin anchor the table with a single point.

Share This: