Zifa's coaches merry-go-round

HARARE - The appointment on an interim basis of Wilson Mutekede to take charge of the Warriors’ friendly matches against Lesotho and Namibia once again highlights the poor administration of the national team.

Such a key position of the Warriors coach should be treated with a lot of respect and the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) should be seized with finding a substantive replacement for Kalisto Pasuwa.

Pasuwa was sacked in February after Zifa decided against renewing his contract shortly after the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Gabon.

After that, Norman Mapeza took charge of the side on an interim basis for the 2019 Afcon Group G qualifier against Liberia in June.

For the Cosafa Castle Cup in South Africa, ZPC Kariba coach Sunday Chidzambwa was given the reins on a temporary basis back in July.

Chidzambwa was also in charge of the side for the failed 2018 Africa Nations Championship qualifiers against Namibia in July.

By the time Mutekede takes charge of his first training session next week; this would mean that in a single year, the Warriors would have had four different coaches — one was substantive while three would have done so on a caretaker basis.

The problem with this kind of set-up is that there is very little continuity in the team when it comes to squad selection.

From the squad Mapeza used for the Afcon qualifier against Liberia, Chidzambwa only selected five players — Ovidy Karuru, Eric Chipeta, Prince Dube, Jameson Mukombwe and Liberty Chakoroma — for the Cosafa tournament in South Africa.

The squad Mutekede selected for the upcoming friendly internationals is also very different from the one Mapeza or Chidzambwa called up.

Zimbabwe’s next competitive match will be in March next year when the side travels to Congo for their second Group G game.

By that time, a new coach might also be in charge of the side since Zifa is currently in the process of recruiting Pasuwa’s successor.

But what baffles the mind is the fact that it has been at least six months since Pasuwa’s sacking but Zifa have decided to go on a managerial merry-go-round chopping and changing coaches willy-nilly.

What makes it even worse is the fact that the front runners that are being tipped to take charge of the Warriors are those same old names which are being recycled.

Chidzambwa’s first dance with the Warriors came at the turn of the millennium when he led the side to the 2004 Afcon finals in Tunisia.

He was followed by Rahman Gumbo, who took charge of the side for a brief period before he was replaced by Charles Mhlauri.

The former CAPS United coach then guided the Warriors to their second appearance at the 2006 Afcon finals in Egypt before relocating to the United States in 2007.

Then came the monumental failure when Zifa through a partnership with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority hired Brazilian coach Valinhos in 2008.

Valinhos did not achieve much on the field but his brief period in charge of the team would later on haunt Zimbabwe after the Warriors were booted out of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers after Zifa failed to settle his outstanding dues.          

After Valinhos was sacked, Chidzambwa returned for a second spell but it ended badly after it coincided with the Asiagate match-fixing scandal.

During that same period between 2009 and 2012, Mapeza and Luke Masomere also had a dance with the national team.

Gumbo returned for a another stint when he took charge of the 2013 Afcon qualifiers before German coach Klaus Dieter Pagels was appointed for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

After Pagels’ reign, former Mamelodi Sundowns and Moroka Swallows coach Ian Gorowa took charge of the 2015 Afcon qualifiers.

Zimbabwe were knocked out in the preliminary stages by Tanzania and Gorowa was sacked and that’s when Zifa finally settled for Pasuwa.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.