FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza faces a long layoff due to back problems that have seen him struggle to walk properly of late.
BY Kevin Mapasure
Mapeza has had the problem for months, but has worked through the pain as he led his team in pre-season training and into the Caf Champions League preliminary round tie against Clube Desportivo de Agosto of Angola to whom they lost and were knocked out.
The former Warriors captain faces months on the sidelines as he recovers from the injury and is likely to miss the better part of this season.
FC Platinum released a statement yesterday confirming that the coach has got medical issues even though they did not go into details of his ailment or when he was expected to return to work.
“FC Platinum wishes to advise the public that Norman Mapeza is currently on sick leave,” part of the statement by club president George Mawere read in part.
“It is our hope that he will return to work fully recovered as we prepare to defend the Premier League title in the 2018 season. As FC Platinum, our employees’ health and safety remains a top priority and we pledge to give Mapeza all the necessary support to ensure that he quickly recovers. Meanwhile, Lizwe Sweswe will act as head coach in his absence.”
Sources yesterday told NewsDay Weekender that Mapeza’s back problem was a serious one such that the medical process to get him to full fitness and ready for work could take up to six months.
The problem is said to have started during the off season, but Mapeza chose to delay the medical and rehabilitation process so that he could lead his team in the continental competition.
The platinum miners also said that they stood by the coach despite the early exit from the Caf Champions League.
Mapeza led FC Platinum to their first league title last year after they fended off the Dynamos and Ngezi Platinum challenge.
After getting an early boot from the continental competition, the Zvishavane side will be looking to defend their title and return to Africa’s premier football next year.
Mapeza’s absence came as a blow to their plans for the season, but they are confident in Sweswe’s abilities in the absence of their head coach.
Sweswe will be working with among others Patrick Mandizha in the technical set up.