'Warriors coach can wait'

HARARE - Although time is running out, the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) insist they want to make further consultations before they appoint all national team coaches.

The Warriors are without a coach after Zifa decided not to renew Kalisto Pasuwa’s contract while Mighty Warriors’ ex-coach Shadreck Mlauzi, who was working without a contract, was not retained.

Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda said the association’s major priority at the moment is finding suitable coaches for the junior national teams before dealing with the senior sides.

“This is a big process which needs a lot of consultations before we appoint coaches for the Warriors and the Mighty Warriors,” he said.

“People should not boggle their minds with the issue of the Warriors coach at the moment. You should remember we do not have coaches from the Under-17s up to the Under-23s for both men and women’s teams.

“These are the crucial developmental teams we should concentrate on because we need to groom players that will eventually graduate to play for the senior national teams.”

Some of the names that are being linked to succeed Pasuwa include former Warriors goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar, who has been reported in the media as willing to occupy the hot seat while Dutchman Pieter de Jongh has also been floated around as a possible replacement.

Former Warriors coaches Moses Chunga, Sunday Chidzambwa and Rahman Gumbo have also been linked with the post despite Sibanda claiming they will not be considered as there is a great deal of conflict of interest since they seat in the Zifa High Perfromance Committee.

The Warriors will be back in action in June when the 2019 Afcon qualifiers commence.

Zimbabwe will miss the upcoming Fifa international weekend from March 20-28 as Zifa has not secured friendly matches for the team.

“If we manage to secure friendly matches the team will be able to play even though we have not secured a coach,” Sibanda said.

“The executive committee will meet with the president in order to make a recommendation for a technical team to take charge of matches.”     

Sibanda said Zifa has realised the importance of grassroots development and are in the process of setting up structures to resuscitate junior football in the country.

“If you look at it carefully, you can see that when we came into office there were no grassroots programmes to talk about but we are now moving in to change all that,” he said.

“Later on this month, we are going to hold a Fifa Grassroots Coaching Course in Masvingo where all the instructors will be taught how to train junior coaches.

“After the course, these instructors will now go into the provinces to educate the junior coaches so that they will understand what must be done when working with children down from the Under-9s upwards.”

At the moment, Zambia is hosting the Under-20 African Cup of Nations which comes to an end this weekend with the hosts, South Africa, Senegal and Guinea the last teams standing.

The four teams have also already qualified for the Fifa Under-20 World Cup to be held in South Korea this May.

“For the first time in a long time our Under-20 team participated in the qualifiers for this tournament unfortunately they lost to Cameroon in the qualifiers,” Sibanda said.

“That was just a few months after we had got into office and the team was not fully prepared but the fact that we participated shows that this executive is willing to develop football in this country.

“We also sent the team to play in the Cosafa Under-20 Championship.”

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