Sharif Mussa quits Warriors

HARARE - After years of dedicated service to the Warriors, Sharif Mussa is the latest high-profile figure to quit his post.

Mussa, regarded by many as the team’s finest ever manager, announced his resignation via a letter to Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president Philip Chiyanga on Wednesday.

The Harare businessman called time on his Warriors tenure, ironically a day after coach Kalisto Pasuwa’s 20-month reign also ended.

Pasuwa’s contract, which ran out on February 28, was not renewed after Zimbabwe’s poor performance at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) final in Gabon.

The multi-lingual Mussa told Chiyangwa that he would now focus on his business and family commitments with the Warriors’ 2017 Africa Cup of Nations campaign in Gabon being his last.

“I hereby tender my resignation with effect from March 1, 2017 from the position of the Zimbabwe senior men’s team manager,” Mussa wrote.

“Over the many years that I have worked with football, I have dedicated my services to the national game and to a football-loving nation of Zimbabwe and I must say I have enjoyed and endured the highs and lows that come with this sport.

“It is at this juncture that I would want to realign and refocus towards the development of my family and my business that had been forced to take a back seat during this ride.

“The attention required to attain my goals for my business and family would leave my duties and responsibilities within the current national team setup vulnerable to some extent.

“As the euphoria of the 2017 Afcon where Zimbabwe participated dies down, I am aware the association needs to look to the future and I feel it is time for me to step aside and allow for the process of continuation to be assigned to another person to carry on the baton.

“The journey of the 2017 Afcon finals just like those to the Chan 2014 and Chan 2016 as well as a number of Cosafa Cup tournaments, including the one we last won at home in 2009, has been experienced with mixed emotions for the nation, the technical support structures, the team, football players and the Football as a whole.”

His departure is a big blow to the national team given Mussa’s immense contribution to its setup and the players’ welfare which he worked tirelessly to improve.

With Zifa struggling for resources, Mussa endeared himself to the players, coaches and the media with his unquestionable dedication and passion to the Warriors’ cause.

Mussa saluted Chiyangwa for his unwavering support during his tenure which saw him work with some of the best talent in the country.

“I wish to thank you, sir, in your personal capacity and to thank you and your executive committee for affording me a chance to serve the senior national team in the role of team manager,” he said.

“I may have been already appointed to that post when your leadership came into office but you still found it worthwhile to repose your confidence in me and entrusted me to carry on. For that, I will forever remain grateful to you sir.

“I have always remained passionate and committed to serving my country through Zifa’s national teams and as you may have noted, I have occasionally used my personal resources to help in the discharge of national teams’ duties and assist in various spheres.

“I have never shied away from serving my country and I am happy to retire having played a part in assisting the national team careers of many great players who are too numerous to mention.

“I also wish to pay tribute to all the coaches that I have worked with in the national team some of whom include Sunday Chidzambwa, Rahman Gumbo, Charles Mhlauri, Ian Gorowa, Valinhos, Norman Mapeza and Pasuwa, who all invited me to be part of their technical departments,” Mussa said.

“I also wish to extend the very best of wishes to Zifa and all stakeholders for the forthcoming and future endeavours.”

Mussa said he would use the experience he has gained over the years to help the local sport develop, adding that his family, business and religious commitments will determine whether he bounces back if approached in the near future.

“It’s been a huge pleasure and an honour to work under the Football Association and the experience I have gained will always be invaluable and I will continue to use it to help our football to grow and I want to reiterate sir that if engaged in future, I will consider where and in what sort of capacity I can help,” added Mussa.

“Such move will also be taken after due consideration of my business commitments as well as family and religious commitments.  

“I do believe that more can be achieved through more focused and well-executed provisions, as working for the national team has not been without its challenges but as united family our football has the capacity to overcome most of the challenges.”

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