WITH the 2017 and 2018 Afcon qualifiers respectively beginning in June and October this year, Zifa say they are preparing to appoint a substantive Warriors coach, with former gaffer Norman Mapeza favourite to return.
By Our staff
There is currently no Warriors team after the seniors were disbanded following the humiliating failure to qualify for the just-ended Afcon tournament under Ian Gorowa.
Focus had been directed towards the Kalisto Pasuwa-coached Under-23s.
Late last year, this publication carried a story whereby Mapeza — who is now at FC Platinum — said he was still available to return for the biggest football job in Zimbabwe. His statement came despite being spitefully kicked out as coach by Zifa in 2012 for alleged participation in the Asiagate match-fixing scandal.
Zifa’s pursuance of a local coach has been influenced by their financial quagmire. The association’s chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze said Mapeza’s comeback would be discussed by the board before meeting him or any other locals who would have shown interest.
“Mapeza has always been a good coach who commands respect of players, fans and the corporate world. There is nothing that can stop us from engaging him as long as he is willing to bring back smiles to football fans in Zimbabwe,” said Mashingaidze.
He acknowledged that there was need by the football governing body to start preparations for both tournaments now. “The rightful time to start preparing for both the World Cup and Afcon 2017 is now. We are happy that we have quite an impressive developmental Under-23 squad which is led by Kalisto Pasuwa. But our plan is to appoint a local coach to take charge of the senior team.”