KALISTO Pasuwa made a dramatic comeback as Warriors coach after the soccer mother body, Zifa, on Friday paid his outstanding dues believed to be in the region of $10 000.
The return of the coach is a major boost for the Warriors who face Guinea in the 2017 Afcon qualifiers in Harare on September 6.
Pasuwa quit his job three weeks ago after Zifa had failed to honour its promise to pay up the outstanding salaries and allowances for the 10 months that he had been doubling as Young Warriors and the senior national team coach.
His manager Gibson Mahachi on Saturday confirmed that Pasuwa was back at the helm of the Warriors, telling Standardsport that negotiations for a new contract were to follow while Pasuwa resumed his duties.
“I have talked to my client and he agreed that he will resume work soon while negotiations and a proper payment plan are being negotiated. But I don’t expect this kind of relationship to continue,”Mahachi said.
Pasuwa was last night expected to name his squad to face Guinea in the race to qualify for the 2017 Afcon finals to be hosted by Gabon.
The four-time title-winning coach with Harare giants Dynamos had to be persuaded by the Under-23 players to make himself available when they played their reverse 2016 Olympics qualifying match against South Africa in South Africa after having skipped training for three days.
He returned briefly, only to quit after the tie.
Zifa has been failing to get corporate support to finance the Warriors.
But the association’s president Cuthbert Dube on Saturday told football administrators who had gathered for the launch of his tour of the provinces in Harare that the soccer controlling body was working to finalise a deal to
cater for salaries of the technical team.
“We have finally dealt with the Warriors coach issue. What is left is for us as an association to tie up with potential sponsors who will specifically make sure that our technical team is paid,” Dube said.
Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze weighed in, saying he had spoken to Pasuwa who was attending
a family bereavement but had promised to release his squad last night.
“We have paid Pasuwa his money. We are still trying to iron out outstanding issues that will see some corporates partnering us in servicing the national team coach’s salaries and his allowances,”Mashingaidze said.
The journey to Gabon had started well with the Warriors winning 2-1 away in Malawi despite enduring a trip by road.
Riled by a false start to their Group L campaign in which they lost 2-1 to Swaziland in neutral Morocco, Guinea are desperate to breathe life into their bid to qualify for the 31st Afcon edition.
Guinea mentor Luis Fernandez announced a 23-men squad for the Warriors that includes former captain and Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Traoré Ibrahima whom he is battling to persuade to come out of retirement.
The West Africans will be catering for their expenses, including food and accommodation fearing that the chaos engulfing Zifa could leave them stranded in Harare.
Host teams are supposed to cater for the expenses of the visiting teams.
Mashingaidze confirmed the development,saying Guinea wrote to Zifa three weeks ago asking for quotations from hotels.
“They have their own advance team doing all the bookings. The thing is we will have to pay for ourselves when we go there. I hope things would have normalised by then,” he said.
Meanwhile, Zifa wrote to Fifa confirming that the Mighty Warriors would take part in the last qualifying round for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games which will be against soccer powerhouse Cameroon.
The Mighty Warriors went through after third round opponents Ivory Coast withdrew from the qualifiers. The two teams were set to clash in a rescheduled third round second leg match at Rufaro Stadium today, but Fifa on Friday informed
Zifa that the West Africans had formally withdrew from the tie, giving the Mighty Warriors the passage to the final qualifying round.