National team coaches adverts open can of worms for ZIFA Normalisation Committee

The recently-apppointed ZIFA Normalisation Committee flighted adverts for the technical personel to lead the country’s national teams, following FIFA’s decision to lift the 18-months long suspension on the troubled association.

The world governing body lifted the suspension imposed on Zimbabwe for ‘third party interference’ last month, and appointed a four-member normalisation committee tasked with running the affairs of ZIFA for 12 months.

Led by former Dynamos chairman Lincon Mutasa, the Committee officially called for applicants for the country’s senior men’s national soccer team —the Warriors, as well as 13 other vacant coaching jobs.

Oddly, the Committee –which should work in compliance with FIFA regulatory requirements, made grave mistakes on the adverts, and appeared to be ignorant of the CAF requirements as far as the appointment of coaches for national teams is concerned.

CAF set the CAF A coaching badge as the basic mandatory requirement for any coach wishing to sit on the bench for both men and women’s senior national teams, as well as the continental body’s inter-club competitions.

According to CAF, holders of the UEFA Pro Licence can also coach national teams.

Bizzarely, when it put out the advert for Warriors coach job, the somewhat led-astray Normalisation Committee said holders of the UEFA A licence do qualify, meaning they can hire a coach who may end up not sitting on the bench.

The UEFA A badge is one level below the UEFA Pro, and the former allows holders to be head coaches of youth teams up to the age of 18, as well as reserve teams for top-flight clubs.

Put simply, a holder of the UEFA A licence is not qualified to coach a club in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League but the Normalisation Committee expects such an individual to be the head coach of the national team.

The Committee also listed the CAF B licence as the qualification for the the Mighty Warriors head coach job, in contravention of CAF’s regulations, which demand that holders of the CAF A badge can be head coaches of senior women’s national teams.

Mutasa appeared to be not aware of the CAF requirements for national team coaches when sought for a comment.

“We might have someone without the required qualifications but having the required skills to motivate the players. Remember Reinhard Fabisch was a great motivator,” said Mutasa.

“We want to have a database of all applicants so that we can let the (yet to be appointed) Technical Committee to choose the best candidate.

“We will also look at the individual’s track record to determine whether he has succeeded previously or not.

“Besides, there are ways of accelerating the process of someone eventually getting the required qualifications,” added Mutasa.

Interestingly, the Committee bypassed the process of consulting the ZIFA Technical Director Wilson Mutekede, a decision confirmed by Mutasa.

“The Technical Director was not consulted. For the time being, we are studying the situation within the secretariat,” he said.

“We have requested for CVs from the existing staff because we wanted to find out what the problem at the association is,” added Mutasa, without shedding light on the ‘problem’ he was referring to.

“We are not even operating at 53 Livingstone Avenue (ZIFA offices) until we complete that exercise. We want to move with speed because CHAN is around the corner,” added Mutasa.

Mutasa hinted that the Committee will only appoint the Warriors and Mighty Warriors coaches on a permanent basis, with the rest of the technical personel set to be hired on a temporary arrangement.

Hiring coaches on permanent basis might also prove problematic for the Committee, as well as the incoming ZIFA board, as the latter will inherit debts of previous administrations for money owed to former national team coaches.

Zdravko Logarušić is the latest name on the list of former Warriors coaches owed money by ZIFA. The firebrand Croat is owed nearly US$100 000 for the part he played in guiding Zimbabwe to the 2021 AFCON finals.

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