Sunday, 20 December 2015

ZIFA Circus Continues To Unfold

The drama at 53 Livingstone Avenue continued to unfold yesterday after acting ZIFA president Omega Sibanda disowned the appointment of a new technical team led by Joey Antipas to lead the side at the Africa Nations Championships in Rwanda next month.

Sibanda was probably forced to take back his words after Antipas turned down ZIFA’s offer following the surprise sacking of Callisto Pasuwa and his entire technical team this week.

Pasuwa was fired following a series of stormy meetings in which the board wanted him to accept their appointment of new team manager Wellington Mpandare as well as to renounce his relationship with his manager Gibson Mahachi.

ZIFA then announced Antipas was to take over and assisted by Tonderai Ndiraya and Mandla Mpofu while Peter Nkomo would to step in as goalkeeper’s coach.

However, it emerged that they had not spoken to the coaches and Sibanda was singing a different tune yesterday after hitting a brick wall with all the proposed candidates. The acting ZIFA president is understood to have also tried to lure Norman Mapeza back into the Warriros job with the FC Platinum gaffer snubbing the call.

It was a similar tale with Dynamos’ Tonderai Ndiraya who had been earmarked for the assistant coach’s job.

Apparently they had also overlooked the fact that Antipas has a plate full since he is supposed to be preparing his team Chicken Inn for the Champions League the same time the Warriors will be playing at the CHAN tournament.
Facing endless obstacles: Sacked Warriors Coach Callisto Pasuwa
“The truth is, it is only confirmed in writing that you have been appointed so those who have turned down (the offer) what are they turning down?

“All what I am saying is if you have proposed names and you haven’t got a response from the coaches it cannot be said you have appointed. We have just proposed names,” said Sibanda, who also wanted to disclaim the statement announcing the coaches despite signing it.

“Yes it (the statement) bears my name but to me, as far as I am concerned, some of the things written there I am not part of it. That’s why I am saying get it from me.

“The person whom we had contracted is Mpandare to join the technical department. “The rest of the guys were proposed names and appointment was going to be confirmed by a letter, which we hadn’t done.”

Sibanda claimed that they decided to part ways with Pasuwa after they had clashed over a number of things which included the appointment of the technical staff, his relationship with his manager Gibson Mahachi which he felt contravened the FIFA Code of Ethics and the contentious issue of allowances and bonuses for the players and the technical department.

Sibanda accused Pasuwa of giving his manager too much room to interfere in the operations of the association after the coach had offered to consult him over the appointment of Mpandare as team manager.

He also said it was not proper that Mahachi should continue as his manager since he was also an intermediary for a number of players in the Warriors side.

“If you go to the FIFA code of Ethics, as an intermediary Mahachi, there is no way he can manage the player in the national team and manage the coach. This automatically means that he owns the team. He can only manage the player and we don’t mind.

“If he decides to manage the coach yes it’s okay but you can’t manage both. So his position was compromised,” said Sibanda.

Sibanda, a former chairman of the Player agents association before his election to the ZIFA board in 2014 confirmed he had a stormy meeting with Pasuwa and his technical team in which harsh words were exchanged as they could not agree on the player allowances and appearance fees.


Sibanda accused the coach of shifting goal posts in a series of meetings that had been taking place between the board and the technical team from last week.

According to Sibanda, the board was not happy that Pasuwa was “dramatizing” the situation in the Warriors camp following a shambolic start to the team’s preparations.

He said the picture that was painted in the media that ZIFA had failed to provide for the Warriors was not true since they had “done everything for the team’’.

He said Pasuwa should not have questioned their decision to bring in Mpandare into the technical set up while denying that they were paying back the former Gunners and Young Warriors team manager for his role in the ZIFA election campaign.

“The constitution clearly states that all the technical people are employed by ZIFA. We don’t have the European or the British management style.

“What we have got here is that we give you a job as a coach and you become the coach, you need assistance and we put the assistants.

“We might do it out of courtesy and say who do you want to work with? We can do that but this time we didn’t do it, that is the truth. You are given the coaches to work with. “Even many clubs in Zimbabwe that’s how they work. The European set up is not what we have got at ZIFA. “We pick the manager for him, which we did,” said Sibanda.

“Remember we are a newly elected board. We are trying to do some transformation in this set up. We are trying to professionalise everything. “So when we are doing so we know there is bound to be resistance here and there but what we don’t want is to dramatise things to act as if ZIFA is wrong.

“This thing happened in 2004 here in Zimbabwe. Sunday Chidzambwa was the coach of the team at Afcon in Tunisia, he was given a manager because of problems there. He refused and he was fired. Nobody cried foul.

“When Pasuwa was coaching at Dynamos Kenny Mubaiwa said a lot of things about him but despite winning the championships he was fired. There was a reason. “So if somebody produces results as per the public opinion, what happens in the offices people don’t know.

“And we are here to explain to you that bear with us we are regularising things. The unfortunate thing is that our offices are so public because they are at Rufaro Stadium, Barbourfields and the National Sports. That is where we are judged.

“But I am saying give us a chance. Have we played and failed? We haven’t. Callisto is not the first and last coach to coach Zimbabwe.

“Bear with us we appreciate, we are grateful Callisto did well. Fabisch did well, Sunday Marimo (Chidzambwa) did well, Rahman Gumbo did well. “All the coaches did well, they properly executed their duties as per their mandate which we gave them to the best of their abilities so there is no one who is better than the rest.

“So if we say as ZIFA and we are managing the set up, we are parting ways with this person, don’t take offence to it please.

“We are simply saying we are normalising, we are regularising where we feel we are falling short. “We are simply saying this is nothing to do personal issues with Callisto. It has to do with professionalism and integrity and nothing else.

“We cannot allow this institution called ZIFA to be run as a private limited company. Never. Callisto is a good coach but he should know his boundaries in terms of intermediary regulations code of conduct at FIFA,” said Sibanda.

Although he claims that Pasuwa was fired at Dynamos, the fact of the matter is that the coach resigned moments after winning his fourth straight Premiership championship with the Harare giants.

With Antipas having turned down ZIFA’s offer it looks set to be another dramatic week for the association as they go on their head hunt for the Warriors coach and ignoring call by Sport and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane t reinstate Pasuwa. The Herald


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