Warriors job: A thankless engagement

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) High Performance Committee will meet today to recommend the next Warriors coach.

While all leads point to former Dynamos coach Calisto Pasuwa getting the nod for the country’s hot seat, there are also some names that have popped up in recent days.

Harare City coach Taurai Mangwiro, Moses Chunga and Misheck Chidzambwa have all been touted as possible replacements for Ian Gorowa.

With the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and Championship of African Nations (Chan) qualifiers around the corner, it is high time the team has a substantive coach.

The Warriors job has, however, turned into a poisoned chalice that has crashed and burned almost all its previous occupants.

Only on Monday, Gorowa was blasting Zifa for the way the association treated him and he is now considering approaching world football governing body Fifa to receive his outstanding salaries.

“Zifa owes me close to $100 000 due to unpaid dues of eight months. My next action is to go to Fifa because it looks like I have exhausted all channels,” Gorowa told BBC Sport.

“This makes me sick because you can see how Zifa is making frantic efforts to pay off former coaches Valinhos [Jose Claudinei Georgini] and Tom Saintfiet who they owe as well.

“But me nothing; not even an engagement. And to make it worse, these are brothers who treat their fellow brother this way.”

Valinhos, who was Warriors coach in 2008, reported Zifa to Fifa for non-payment of his salaries and in February Zimbabwe was expelled from the 2018 Russia World Cup qualifiers.

The Brazilian is owed $60 000 in outstanding salaries together with legal fees which could see the figure reach six figures.

After Valinhos was shelved in November 2008, he was replaced by Sunday Chidzambwa, who is also now suing Zifa for close to $70 000 in unpaid salary.

Belgian Tom Saintfiet, who was only in charge of the Warriors for two days before he was deported, is owed $150 000.

Other former Warriors coach Norman Mapeza ($245 000) and Rahman Gumbo ($70 0000) are all owed money by the bankrupt association.

Mapeza’s situation is particularly depressing considering that from February 2012 until August 2014, he cud not seek employment since Zifa had suspended him while he still had a running contract.

What is evident in this entire saga is that coaching the Warriors is a thankless job that only leaves you with bad memories.

A year or two down the line, Zifa is likely to be fighting another legal battle with whoever will be appointed Warriors coach after the ZHPC meeting today.

Although coaches are lining up at the 53 Livingston Avenue office lobbying for the Warriors job for obvious reasons to bolster their resumes, all signs point to a relationship that will end in tears.

Just like what has happened to Gorowa. The former Mamelodi Sundowns coach was obviously excited when he was appointed to manage his country.

Right now he no longer wants to hear anything to do with Zimbabwe football just because of the nightmare the Warriors job has brought to his life.

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