Warriors coach Kalisto Pasuwa and Zifa are haggling over the duration of the contract to be given the coach, with reports suggesting the FA wants a performance-based contract with at least a top-four finish at the upcoming African Nations Championship (Chan) tournament, while the respected mentor is pressing for a minimum of two years.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
The football supreme body in the country also wants Pasuwa’s future to be determined by the 2017 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers, where failure to qualify would spell the end of his tenure.
This means Zifa is only ready to offer Pasuwa a maximum of a year first, but he will effectively work for nine months as the 2017 Afcon qualifiers end in September this year with a trip to Conakry, where the Warriors will face Guinea.
The Zifa executive committee is expected to meet in Harare today to, among other business, try to finalise the issue of the coach’s contract before the team departs for Kigali, Rwanda, for the Chan tournament.
Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa on Wednesday said he wanted the contract issue to be resolved quickly so that Pasuwa would focus on his job.
He also sourced a vehicle for the coach, which he will start using when he returns from Chan, but the contract duration has proved a sticking point.
Pasuwa’s manager Gibson Mahachi declined to comment on the contract issue, saying he was waiting for the outcome of the Zifa executive committee meeting.
“I can’t comment on that issue until after their board meeting. We are just waiting to hear from them,” Mahachi said.
It is, however, understood Pasuwa’s camp is concerned at the apparent lack of faith in the coach’s ability despite what he has already achieved at national level.
He led the national Under-23 side to the Africa Games after beating fancied Cameroon, as well as qualifying for Chan under very difficult circumstances when Cuthbert Dube was still at the helm.
The Warriors gaffer, who won four successive league championships with Harare giants Dynamos, also presided over the Warriors’ 2-1 win over Malawi in the 2017 Afcon qualifier in their own backyard before the 1-1 draw against West African football giants Guinea to share top spot in Group L with Swaziland on four points.
All along, he has been working without a contract, where he survived on allowances.
While Pasuwa’s camp refused to say much on the issue of the contract, it is understood they feel the reluctance by the FA to give the coach a long-term contract was a clear signal that they don’t have confidence in him despite getting good results in his tenure so far.
Initially, Pasuwa had been given the mandate to rebuild the Warriors using the Under-23s to prepare for 2019 after the senior side had been “disbanded” by the then Dube-led leadership.
However, his youthful squad performed beyond expectations, beating highly-rated Cameroon to qualify for the Africa Games.
He later fused the Under-23s with other senior players for the Chan qualifiers and the 2017 Afcon qualifiers against Malawi and Guinea.
Pasuwa’s camp is understood to be of the opinion that he should be given at least two years to achieve his objectives.
Zimbabwe reached the semi-finals at the last edition of the tournament held in South Africa. Ian Gorowa was in charge of that team, while Pasuwa was assistant.
The Warriors are expected to leave for Rwanda next week.
Zimbabwe are in Group D alongside Zambia, Mali and Uganda.