No miracle for Yadah FC

HARARE - Yadah FC owner Walter Magaya risks destroying his ambition of running a successful football club by needlessly interfering with the technical affairs of the club.

The ambitious Harare side, who won promotion from the Zifa Eastern Region Division One League last season, travelled to Bulawayo without their technical team over the weekend and received a thorough hiding, losing 7-2 to Bantu Rovers in a lopsided tie.

Yadah were reduced to a near Sunday social team as team manager Munyaradzi Sinani, physiotherapist Mike Mavhura and medic Victor Katsande were seated in the dugout in a shameful and embarrassing advertisement of the local game at a time Zifa is trying to implement club licensing.

The Yadah technical team led by Jairos Tapera was suspended by the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) leader following the 1-0 loss to Dynamos.  

Magaya, who bizarrely claims to be qualified to be the club’s technical director through the heavens, now risks sullying his name by joining the unwanted bandwagon of passionate but bungling football team owners who have previously tried it before but failed.

Bulawayo businessman Delma Lupepe, who was the owner of the now-defunct AmaZulu FC, at one point was forced to respond to allegations that he was interfering with the team’s selection.

Although Usuthu won the championship in 2003, it didn’t take long before his team got relegated from the Premiership before sinking into oblivion.

Chimurenga music guru Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo did the same with his Sporting Lions side before the demands of real football manifested and forced him to sell the club.

Across the Limpopo, South African football great Jomo Sono is everything from owner, to chairperson, scout and coach at his beloved Jomo Cosmos.

As a result of Sono’s failure to delegate duties, Cosmos are now a yoyo-yoyo club which is always shuttling up down between the Super Diski Premiership and the National First Division.

Magaya is also behaving like the late Atletico Madrid president Jesus Gil, who famously went through 39 managers during his 17-year reign at the Vicente Calderon.

Due to Gil’s erratic management style, Atletico were still reeling from a $540 million debt largely owed to Spanish tax authorities as recently as 2014 before the club was brought back to profitability by his son and successor Miguel Angel Gil Marin.

During his first spell as Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho had many running battles with club owner Roman Abrahamovic over the ability of striker Andriy Shevchenko.

Mourinho was proved right in the end as Shevchenko scored a measly nine goals over a three-year period he spent at the Blues.

Yes, Magaya, might be passionate about his club but if he continues on this destructive path, Yadah could easily sink into oblivion just like what happened to the likes of AmaZulu, Black Aces and Zimbabwe Saints.

Of course, as the team’s proprietor, Magaya is entitled to call the shots at Yadah but football has seen such over-exuberant owners before and the ending is all quite familiar. 

Zifa were yesterday forced to issue a strong worded warning to Yadah following the deplorable drama at Luveve.

“The absence of a qualified technical team during a professional league match makes a mockery of top-flight football in Zimbabwe. Zifa will not stand by and watch Yadah Stars dragging football into the abyss.

“Zifa has noted with concern, the move by Yadah . . . , to bring the beautiful game of football into disrepute by deliberately breaching Club licensing provisions by engaging in their league assignment against Bantu Rovers . . . without qualified technical personnel,” Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela said yesterday.

“Zifa will take corrective measures to deal with this presumptuous disregard of Club licensing dictates. The association has ordered Yadah Stars management to put their house in order and ensure that they have fully qualified personnel manning their technical bench in their next league assignment, as per club licensing requirements.

“Zifa also reiterates that it is not backing down on the standardisation of coaches’ qualifications since it is a directive taken in compliance with Fifa and Caf Club licensing dictates. This, and other club licensing requirements, will be gradually implemented for the continued development of local football.”

Former CAPS United midfielder Innocent Mugabe took to social media and advised Magaya to trust the coaches he has appointed to lead the team.

“So Yadah FC decided to suspend their coaching staff because the head coach made changes to the team which was selected by the technical director,” wrote Mugabe on Facebook.

“Did Tapera sign a contract allowing Magaya to interfere with the team selection? Is Magaya a qualified coach? Are football coaches signing contracts without reading through their contracts or everyone thinks football coaching can just be done without qualifications and get results?

“People need to respect football coaches and also the coaches must not just sign contracts for the sake of getting a job.”

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