That Kalisto Pasuwa stayed behind when the Young Warriors were playing Botswana a fortnight ago should be a lesson to the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) to abandon this system of relying too much on club coaches.
Inside Sport with Michael Kariati
There are two reasons why Pasuwa did not travel with the team. One, we are told that the coach felt he needed more time with his club which is locked in a fierce fight for the league title.
The other explanation is that Dynamos refused to let him go.
Whatever the case may be, Zifa does not have power over Pasuwa because he is employed by DeMbare. It is as simple as that.
Saul Chaminuka chose to go with the Under-23 on his own liking and his employers ZPC Kariba agreed to let him go.
ZPC Kariba could have said NO because they are the ones who pay Chaminuka’s salary. His contract is to coach ZPC Kariba and not the National Under-23 team.
In other countries a national team has a full-time coach employed by the football federation. These coaches are specifically for the national teams with no other engagement.
A close example is in neighbouring South Africa. Pisto Mosimane left his club job when he was appointed coach of Bafana Bafana.
The same happened to Gordon Igesund who was coaching Moroka Swallows by that time. After leaving Bafana Bafana they went back to club coaching and are not pursuing both.
I do not subscribe to the belief that Zifa does not have money to pay a substantive national coach.
While I believe that Zimbabwe, like any of the 11 countries bidding for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, has an equal chance of winning the right to host the competition, I am worried by the amount of money being used in all those journeys by Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze. The money could have been channelled towards paying a national coach while the other part of his salary is being sought.
If Zifa are serious about Pasuwa, they should offer him a contract, pay him his salary, and get him to leave Dynamos; otherwise, they have, or will never have power over what is not theirs.
Alternatively, they can get somebody they can afford to pay.
Soon after the game between CAPS United and Highlanders there was debate as to whether club captains should be incorporated into the selection of the Castle Lager Soccer Stars of the Year Award as has already been decided.
Those in discussion were unanimous in their agreement that this would be improper. “How can you have him being the captain of the side, playing alongside his charges, and then assessing who is best for what opposition? That is ridiculous,” observed a coach of a PSL club.
The idea of bringing in the captains is meant to improve selection for the award that was first won by Dynamos’ George Shaya in 1969.
I am not quite sure whether Zifa are involved in this decision at all, but one thing for sure is that it is easy to qualify to become a member of the association.
We also cry for Bosso
When one of the giants of Zimbabwean football lose their influence in the manner Highlanders have done, there becomes no real strong opposition for Harare teams. Such a scenario is surely not healthy for Zimbabwean football.
The Bulawayo giants are the only team who have been able to stand their ground against the so-called big guns from Harare. Since 2007, the league championship has changed hands between Harare teams and, to their credit, Highlanders have finished second on three occasions in 2007, 2012, and 2013.
In fact, Bosso were unfortunate to lose out in the races for the 2012 and 2013 titles as they lost out on the last day of the season to Dynamos and on goal difference, for that matter.
Besides, Highlanders have seven league championships to show for their effort, second only to Dynamos who have 21 titles.
Although FC Platinum finished second to Dynamos in 2011, that turned out to be nothing but beginner’s luck as since then, the Money Bags have returned where they belong; an ordinary outfit which has failed to minimise the influence of Harare teams in the league challenge.
It surely has been saddening to see the team that gave Zimbabwe some of its greatest players in the form of Peter and the late Adam Ndlovu, Alexander Maseko, Willard Khumalo, and Mercedes Sibanda, become a punching bag.
One thing about Bosso is that whenever there are problems within the club, they are always kept secret. Recent events however exposed that there are much bigger problems at Highlanders than meets the eye.
For the first time, there has been public finger-pointing and all sorts of accusations over what is causing the pedestal’s fall.
But fighting is not the solution to the crisis. The Highlanders family should regain its unity, and restore belief in themselves that they can bounce back.
A stronger Bosso means a stronger Castle Lager Premier Soccer League.
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