OPINION: Open letter to Warriors coach Zdravko Logarušić

Dear Coach Loga

Coach, unlike on the countless occasions I have contacted you seeking either clarification or your thoughts on certain issues regarding the Warriors, this time I reach out to you not as a sports journalist but merely a concerned football fan.

Admittedly coach, I admire your guts as an individual and that admiration started well before you became our national team coach.

In September 2019, when you were still the Sudan head coach, you openly-accused FIFA of rigging The Best Awards, on the basis that you said you did not vote for Argentine ace Lionel Messi as the world football governing body claimed, but for Liverpool’s Mo Salah as you later proved.

That to me coach, was a courageous call which I believe was applauded by many across the world as far as transparency is concerned.

Also, the decision you made prior to the AFCON qualifier against Algeria at home in November last year, to bench players, some of whom no previous coach ever had the guts to bench, was an audacious call which in my view made perfect football sense.

Put simply chief, you are just one individual whose guts I respect.

That being said my coach, you might have gone overboard in that regard, last night, during the Warriors’ defeat to Mali in a CHAN 2021 Group A clash.

Bizarrely, you made a substitution with less than three minutes on the clock in the first half, taking out Qadr Amin and replacing him with Ian Nekati.

Only you coach, can explain better the thinking behind that strange call but if what I and everyone else heard is true, that you did so because the player took a free kick when you had assigned set-piece responsibility to another player, then with all due respect, you created your own storm and please don’t complain when it starts raining.

Coach, you watch football on television every time and that is something you know I’m fully aware of.  You are obviously aware of a certain incident in 2017, when the Paris Saint-Germain duo of Neymar and Edinson Cavani clashed over who should take a penalty in a league match against Olympique Lyon.

The Brazilian was the Parisians’ spot kick specialist but Cavani was bent on taking that one. He did and missed but then coach Unai Emery did his best to solve the situation amicably by admitting that it’s normal for players to do that.

In your case coach, what message did you send to your assistants, Amin and the players at large?

For a player who braved the Covid-19 pandemic to represent his country at a continental football tournament, was it even necessary to embarrass him like that, in the eyes of the whole Africa?

In fact, did that harsh decision make you feel better coach?

Conclusively, we are all human coach, we have our shortcomings. You have overseen six matches in the Warriors dugout and registered a grand total of zero victories, four goals scored, 10 conceded and one point collected out of a possible 18 but despite all that, we still respect you as one of our own.

Reciprocate the love.

Yours deferentially,

Lawrence Mangenje


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