WARRIORS coach Kalisto Pasuwa has demanded a public apology from Zifa for “misleading the nation” before he can commit to his job again. BY Henry Mhara
Pasuwa was on Thursday, together with the entire technical team, fired, as a training camp for next month’s African Nations Championship (Chan) finals was disbanded.
But just 24 hours later, Zifa made a climb down and reinstated him, following a public outcry.
However, Pasuwa’s representatives yesterday said their client wants an apology from Zifa before he can return to his job.
Pasuwa’s manager, Gibson Mahachi, also at the centre of the skirmish, met with members of the Zifa board yesterday, where they tried to iron out the differences.
Mahachi, speaking to NewsDay, said while their client is committed to the national team, he will only resume his duties after Zifa apologises.
“We are still negotiating, but we have our demands that they have to meet before we can make further progress,” he said.
“Zifa has to apologise for lying to the nation. They accused him of underhand deals and corruption, but later came back and asked him to take the job back. What has changed now? The coach wants Zifa to tell the nation the truth,” Mahachi said.
Pasuwa had also been working without a contract, something he wants rectified.
Zifa board member, Edzai Kasinauyo, who is leading the negotiations, confirmed meeting Pasuwa’s representatives.
“We are still talking and the negotiations are positive. We will issue a statement after the meeting, but we are making progress and I’m positive that we will be done by tomorrow (today), at which point training should resume,” he said in the evening.
In announcing Pasuwa’s sacking at a Press conference on Thursday, Zifa vice-president, Omega Sibanda said they had dismissed the coach, after he resisted a move by the new Zifa board to fire team manager, Shariff Mussa and replace him with Wellington Mpandare.
He said it was Zifa’s mandate to appoint the coach and his technical staff and “not the other way round”.
Sibanda said they were also not comfortable with a situation where Mahachi was managing players in the Warriors squad, saying it violated Fifa’s code of ethics.
The other contentious issue was to do with allowances, with Sibanda claiming Pasuwa was constantly shifting goal posts on figures that he and the players wanted to be paid for the Chan tournament.
But the decision to fire the fans’ favourite drew fire from football stakeholders and Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane on Friday also stepped in and asked Zifa to rescind its decision – and they complied with the order a few hours later.
“I have conferred with the vice-president and all members of the executive committee. We have agreed that in the interest of the nation and the beautiful game, Pasuwa and his entire technical team be reinstated with immediate effect,” Zifa president, Philip Chiyangwa said.
He said Pasuwa is a successful coach and undeniably one of the most qualified coaches in the country. Chiyanga said the association will give him the necessary support, as he prepares for the 2016 Chan finals.
The Zifa president said the board is confident that Pasuwa’s exploits will bring football success and glory to the country.
Players are now expected to return to camp today and preparations should start tomorrow.
Zimbabwe were drawn in Group D, at the Chan finals, with Zambia, Mali and Uganda and they will be hoping to better their previous exploits at the tournament, where they finished fourth.
Warriors’ provisional Chan squad
Goalkeepers: Elvis Chipezeze (Chicken Inn FC), Tatenda Mukuruva (Dynamos FC), Takabva Mawaya (Hwange Colliery FC), Donovan Bernard (How Mine FC)
Defenders: Stephen Makatuka (Caps United FC), Blessing Moyo (Dynamos FC), Bruce Kangwa (Highlanders FC), Ocean Mushure (Dynamos FC), Elisha Muroiwa (Dynamos FC), Teenage Hadebe (Highlanders FC), Lawrence Mhlanga (Chicken Inn FC ), Hardlife Zvirekwi (Caps United FC) Farai Madhananga (Flame lily FC)
Midfielders: Nqobizitha Masuku (Highlanders FC), Tichaona Chipunza (Triangle FC), Ronald Chitiyo (Dynamos FC), Raphael Manuvire (ZPC Kariba FC), Tafadzwa Kutinyu (Chicken Inn FC), George Majika (Chicken Inn FC), Marshall Mudehwe (FC Platinum), William Manondo (Harare City FC), Danny Phiri (Chicken Inn FC), Gerald Takwara (FC Platinum), Joel Ngodzo (Caps United FC) Hilary Bakacheza (Triangle United FC)
Strikers: Pritchard Mpelele (Hwange Colliery FC), Rodreck Mutuma (Dynamos FC), Edmore Chirambadare (Chicken Inn FC), Brian Muzondiwa (FC Platinum), Francisco Zikumbawire (Harare City FC), Knox Mtizwa ( Highlanders FC), Moses Demera (Flame Lily FC)