ZIFA is satisfied with Norman Mapeza’s performance after leading his Warriors to a 0-0 draw against neighbours Zambia in an international football friendly at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday, the strongest hint that the FC Platinum gaffer could be given the job on a full-time basis.BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda said yesterday they were happy with Mapeza and would be meeting in due course as an executive to map the way forward.
“What I can only say is that we are happy with Mapeza’s performance. We will be meeting in due course as an executive to map the way forward. We can’t say anything about FC Platinum. We can’t comment further than this,” Sibanda said.
Zifa appointed Mapeza to take charge of the Warriors match against Zambia ahead of the employment of a substantive coach.
It appears Zifa have opted to engage Mapeza to take charge of the team ahead of the Chan and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.
The FC Platinum gaffer last coached the Warriors during the 2012 Afcon qualifiers before he left following match-fixing allegations.
He is still owed money by Zifa, but the former Galatasaray man has chosen to overlook the issue and has not hidden his desire to take the job on a permanent basis.
Mapeza insisted after the match against Zambia he would not snub the opportunity to coach the Warriors if he was given the job.
“It’s for the national cause [helping with the national team]. It could be Lloyd Chitembwe or [Sunday] Chidzambwa tomorrow, so it’s a national cause, that is why I am here. It is for the country,” Mapeza said. “For me to be here, it is because of these people [fans], that’s why I am here. If I was someone who was mad at Zifa, I could have gone and took everything at Zifa Village, but I knew one day I would come back and sit on the technical bench. For now I can’t make a decision. I am employed by FC Platinum, they are the ones who can make a decision. I have got a job there, I am there every day, but this is not an everyday job [Warriors]. I am here maybe once in six months,” he said.
Zimbabwe were drawn in Group G, together with the continent’s sixth-ranked side Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville and Liberia in a qualifying draw conducted in Libreville, Gabon.
Only group winners and the best three runners-up qualify for the tournament, with hosts Cameroon.