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Zifa board cracks

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The Zifa Board-heavily divided over the appointment of a substantive Warriors coach, meets again this morning as they bid to put an end to the embarrassing circus that has left football fans asking which direction the game is heading to.

A sub-committee, led by second vice president Kenny Marange, recommended the appointment of Belgian Tom Saintfiet to the top post last Friday, but board president Cuthbert Dube staged a one-man protest against the decision and stuck to caretaker coach Norman Mapeza.

A week later, and with the Belgian still holed up in the country, no decision has been made.

This morning Dube meets the six-man sub-committee and other board members in an attempt to reach a solution and put the matter to rest, just two weeks before the second 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Cape Verde Islands in Harare.

Week long investigations and interviews with various sources by NewsDay have finally revealed how Saintfiet was given the job by the sub-committee during their meeting last Friday.

“The sub-committee was given a mandate to get a coach and agreed on a foreign coach, taking a cue from their South African counterparts. The idea was to have a foreign coach understudied by a local to eventually take over after a certain period.

“The job description was set, they advertised and interviews were carried out. It was clear Saintfiet had all the qualifications needed so a recommendation was made to the board for their consideration. The board had agreed that anybody under investigation for Asia trips or anything else will not be considered.

“The sub-committee had also agreed that Mapeza becomes the Under 23 coach. NewsDay was told that after recommendations had been made, Dube asked that the Zifa presidency, which includes himself and his two vice presidents Ndumiso Gumede and Kenny Marange be excused to deliberate on the issue before the meeting continued.

“They came back to the meeting and gave the nod to the recommendation that Saintfiet be appointed. He was called on his mobile during the meeting and he said he was in India and would be in Harare on Monday.

“After that it was agreed that a press conference be convened on Saturday (last Saturday) at 2pm, where an official announcement was to be made. But it was called off abruptly because the president had decided to make his own decision.”

On the appointment of Madinda Ndlovu, Friday Phiri and Richard Tswatswa as assistant coaches, the sources said:

“None of them had applied for the position of head coach and cannot be caught up in the politics of the game because the battle is between Tom and Norman only.

“That decision on the assistant coaches came after Mapeza had turned down the post of Under 23 coach which would have kept him in the technical set up.”

In going against the decision of the sub-committee, Dube, in other ways, was also dismissing the requirements and qualifications they wanted when they placed an advert on 27 July for the post.

The national association was looking for a candidate with a Fifa/Caf advanced coaching course certificate or Uefa A Licence or equivalent, five years coaching experience (consistent) and other qualifications like 5 O Levels and a diploma in Sports Science.

Mapeza was part of the more than 30 candidates who went through the Caf C Licence course in April in Harare and received a certificate of attendance. Full results of who passed, in a class that had other former Warriors legends like Agent Sawu and Peter Ndlovu, were never made public.

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