It's Mhofu or Gumbo

HARARE - ZPC Kariba coach Sunday Chidzambwa and his Chicken Inn counterpart Rahman Gumbo have emerged as the front runners to be the new substantive Warriors coach.

The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) board met in the capital last Friday and the Daily News understands that Chidzambwa and Gumbo are the preferred candidates for the hot seat.

The Warriors at the moment do not have a substantive coach following the sacking of Kalisto Pasuwa in February shortly after the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Gabon the previous month.

Since then, FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza and Chidzambwa have rotated in the post on an interim basis.

Mapeza was in charge of the Warriors for the 2019 Afcon qualifier Group match against Liberia at the National Sports Stadium back in June which the home side won 3-0 courtesy of a hat-trick by captain Knowledge Musona.

Chidzambwa was then roped in to be in the hot seat for the 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup in South Africa with the Warriors going all the way winning the title.

Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda, who heads the Zifa High Performance Committee which is responsible for making recommendations for all national team coaches’ appointments, said the Warriors coach post was top of last Friday’s meeting agenda but refused to give the details of the discussion.

“We discussed about the national team coach but I cannot talk of any names at the moment. For more details you can talk to Gwesela (the Zifa spokesperson Xolisani),” Sibanda said.

Gwesela was, however, not forthcoming with the information regarding the candidates that were shortlisted for the Warriors’ job.

According to sources privy to the discussions, Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa will make an announcement soon regarding the matter.

“Mapeza was the board’s preferred candidate for the biggest football job in the country, but the FC Platinum coach is not willing to commit to taking the job on a fulltime basis,” said the source.

“Only two names are now on the table and the board discussed whether to give it to Rahman or Mhofu.

“The Zifa president then announced that it would be his prerogative to name the coach so the matter is now left in Philip’s hands.”

Mapeza is currently one of the best paid coaches in the Castle Lager Premiership after extending his contract with Pure Platinum Play at the start of this season.

At the moment, the Zvishavane- based side currently leads the log table with only five games to go before the season ends.

Mapeza, who won the title with Monomotapa back in 2008, will make history if he leads FC Platinum to their maiden championship since promotion in 2011.

If that happens, FC Platinum will probably dangle a carrot for Mapeza to stay in Zvishavane and with possibility of African Champions League football, accepting Zifa’s offer to be the substantive Warriors coach will not be possible.

Chidzambwa has already announced that he will be leaving ZPC Kariba at the end of the season after a turbulent period.

The former Dynamos coach has had a serious fall-out with the club’s hierarchy despite attempts to try and mend the rift.

Gumbo’s position at Chicken Inn hangs in the balance especially after the club lost valuable ground in the title race following a recent four-game winless run that saw the Gamecocks drop to fourth place.

The former Highlanders midfielder was also at the centre of the controversy surrounding Chicken Inn’s walkout in the Chibuku Super Cup first round clash against Yadah FC at Ascot Stadium last month.

As a result, the Gamecocks were booted out, fined $2 000 and were banned from participating in the competition next year.

The Zifa insider said Chiyangwa is not yet in a hurry to make the decision regarding the Warriors job since the team’s next game is probably next year.

Zimbabwe’s next game is in March next year when they travel to Congo for their second Group G game.

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