HomeSportWarriors coach: Is it the toughest job?

Warriors coach: Is it the toughest job?

IN March 2010, Zimbabwean football ushered in Cuthbert Dube as Zifa president after councillors entrusted him to turn around the fortunes of Zimbabwe football which had plunged into the Intensive Care Unit.

By Our Staff

A screaming manifesto charm-ed the electorate who did not doubt his ability and gave him the mandate to lead Zimbabwean football.

But from the time that Dube has been leading from the front, the Warriors coach job seems to be the most difficult job to keep in the country. A record six coaches have been hired and fired during Dube’s reign.

What has been disturbing is the manner in which most of the coaches have been appointed, how they have administered the national team, as well as the way most of them left the hot seat, putting the already beleaguered association deep into financial crisis.

No other team or sport association has changed coaches at the rate at which Zifa has been hiring and firing coaches during the Dube era.

When the Dube-led board took over, they had issues with the then warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa who had to leave the post but later came back through his lawyers to claim unpaid salaries and allowances which the association owed him.

As the Chidzambwa drama unfolded, the board, which was still new in office, appointed two caretaker coaches, Madinda Ndlovu and Norman Mapeza to take charge of the Warriors while they finalised the appointment of foreign coach, Belgian Tom Sainfiet.

The two caretaker coaches had different ideologies altogether, starting from team selection, which saw the Warriors perform dismally and failing to qualify for Afcon 2012 and 2013.

However, things did not go well for Zifa in their bid to acquire a work permit for Sainfiet who ended up taking Zifa to task demanding outrageous amounts of money, again milking the association which was failing to make money even for their day-to-day running.

After the bid to bring in Sainfiet failed, Zifa turned to Ndlovu who had a good share of positives with the national team on caretaker basis until such a time that Dube appointed Mapeza to the post. Again, Ndlovu had outstanding salaries and allowances which Zifa owed him.

Mapeza started building a promising squad that even demolished football giants Mali when they came here for an Afcon qualifier match.

But things went wrong when Mapeza was fingered in the Asiagate scandal which rocked Zimbabwean football where players, officials and administrators were accused of throwing away matches for cash in Asian countries.

The outstanding salaries and allowances ghost continued to haunt Zifa as all the coaches that had left, including Mapeza, had to take the legal route in order to get their outstanding dues.
Mapeza demanded something close to US$400 000.

Again, the board met and had to re-appoint Rahman Gumbo to the helm for the second time after having been the Warriors coach before, only to be relieved of his duties after losing at home to Nigeria.

After a string of poor results, mainly from poor preparations, Gumbo was asked to submit a performance report after the Warriors blew a chance to qualify for Afcon, allowing Angola to come back in an away match and level scores from 2-0 to boot out the Warriors.

Again, Gumbo had his own issues with Zifa in outstanding salaries and allowances.

It did not take Zifa time to appoint German Klaus Dieter Pagels to take over from Gumbo.

Pagels had been in the country since 2010 helping women football which was led by Mavis Gumbo on a government-to-government agreement.

But time when Pagels’ government-to-government contract expired and he had to return to his country, leaving the Warriors’ coach post vacant.

Zifa then appointed former Warriors striker Ian Gorowa on a verbal basis. Gorowa was reportedly not contracted to Zifa as he was working on the basis of verbal agreements.

Most of these nitty-gritties to his employment contract only came out in the open when he finally resigned after he was ordered to submit a report to the association’s High Performance Committee.

Like all other coaches, Gorowa has outstanding, salaries and allowances which Zifa still owe him.

Under Gorowa the Warriors were kicked from the Afcon qualifiers after, succumbing to a lowly placed Tanzania who were in camp for almost two months preparing for the Warriors who only regrouped a few days before the crucial match.

So the question remains; has the Warriors’ coach job become so difficult to keep that all the candidates given the job quickly throw in the towel?

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