KLAUS Dieter Pagels might stay longer than expected as Warriors coach after Zifa president Cuthbert Dube finally engaged the German mentor for a possible contract extension this week.
Zifa had all along been understood to be discussing a contract extension with the Warriors coach — hired late last year following the dissolution of the Warriors technical department headed by Rahman Gumbo.
However, Pagels said he had not discussed any contractual issues with Zifa until Wednesday this week.
He told NewsDay Sport shortly before his departure to Zambia for the regional Cosafa tournament yesterday morning that he had spoken with the Zifa president over a contract extension, but said the talks were still ongoing. Pagels, whose contract with Zifa runs out at the end of this month, said they had not finalised the talks, but expressed hope he might continue as Warriors coach.
“We are still talking,” said the German gaffer.
“We discussed the issue with Zifa this week, but we didn’t finalise so I cannot say it’s all over. I might stay longer or I might not. I am going to the Cosafa tournament right now and I might also be going to Mauritius for the African Cup of Nations Championships (CHAN) tournament.”
He, however, insisted he had secured a six-month contract as a sports teacher at a school in Stade in his native Germany and would still be going back to start work.
“I signed a six-month contract and after the CHAN match, there is just the 2014 World Cup qualifier against Mozambique. My contract with the school will also be coming to an end so I can’t say much because we are still talking with Zifa,” Pagels said.
Pagels was brought here on a government-to-government agreement like fellow German — the late Reinhard Fabisch — but there are also chances he could be going for good at the end of the Cosafa tournament depending on the outcome of the talks over a contract extension with his employers.
Former Warriors striker, South Africa-based Ian “Dibango” Gorowa, is widely expected to take over the biggest coaching job in the country should the talks between Pagels and Zifa break down.
Gorowa, who had been appointed one of the assistant coaches in the current set-up, arrived in the country for the first time this week — a development which fuelled speculation he might be in the frame to take over in the event that Pagels eventually leaves.
He had been expected to travel with the Warriors to Lusaka yesterday, but did not make the trip.
Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze declined to comment on the matter for the first time — referring all questions to Dube. Mashingaidze said the issue of the Warriors coach was now being handled at a higher level.
Meanwhile, the Warriors left for Zambia by a chartered plane yesterday with a squad of 19 players after Nicholas Alifandika withdrew owing to injury.
Zimbabwe have a tough quarter-final clash against the Flames of Malawi tomorrow at the Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka.
The Warriors have won the Cosafa Cup a record four times and arrive in Zambia as the defending champions after clinching the regional tournament on home soil in 2009.
In matches played yesterday, Lesotho edged rivals Botswana on goal difference to take top spot in Group B as they turned the Cosafa Cup on its head at the end of the group phase on Thursday.
A 2-0 win for Lesotho over Swaziland in Lusaka was enough for them to finish at the top and book a Sunday meeting with Angola in the quarter-finals. Botswana was eliminated despite beating Kenya 2-1 in Kitwe at the same time.