BULAWAYO-BASED Premier Soccer League (PSL) side Chicken Inn have challenged the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) to lead by example and employ a Warriors coach with the requisite Caf A coaching licence after the mother body demanded that all top-flight head coaches and their assistants should first acquire the badge before they can sit on the bench.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA /TERRY MADYAUTA
Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambga does not possess the Caf A licence and according to Caf club licensing rules and regulations, he is not qualified to be the head of the technical team for the Warriors.
Following a meeting of the new Zifa executive committee last week, it was resolved that all PSL coaches and their assistants without Caf A coaching badges would not be allowed to sit on the bench, as the soccer controlling body seeks to get stricter in implementing club licensing rules.
Although the requirement has been in place over the years, it has been waived on some coaches who have excelled in their line of duty such as Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas and Moses Chunga, including some assistant coaches.
Antipas is a two-time winner of the championship, having lifted it with Motor Action in 2010 and then with Chicken Inn in 2015, while Chunga won it with Gunners in 2009.
Chidzambga has also benefited on the waiver, as he won league titles at Dynamos, while he also led the Warriors to the Africa Cup of Nations.
Chicken Inn secretary Tavengwa Hara said the soccer controlling body ought to engage in self introspection and leave by example.
“Zifa should look at themselves first and lead by example. How can they demand the Caf A licenses from club coaches when their national team coach does not hold one?” he asked.
Hara also claimed their coach, Antipas, was a technical manager and there was nothing that could stop him from sitting on the bench when a team manager could do so.
“In any case, Antipas is a technical manager, while Prince Matore is the coach and he holds a Caf A coaching licence. If a welfare manager, or a fitness trainer can sit on the bench, how then should a technical manager not be allowed to sit on the bench? If, maybe, they are saying there is a coaching course coming up and an old man like Antipas should attend, he will attend.”
The Zifa directive would also affect Premiership newboys TelOne coach Joel Lupahla, as he does not hold the required Caf A badge.
Though the Gweru-based side had maintained faith in the former Warriors forward Lupahla, who masterminded the team’s promotion into the Premier Soccer League, the unexpected Zifa pronouncement throws their preparations for their maiden season into disarray.
TelOne FC spokesperson Melody Harry said the club was working on aligning their club with Zifa’s requirements.
“This was communicated yesterday and so far, we are not yet in a position to make any pronouncement on the matter, but we will certainly make a decision soon, before the season begins,” she said.
“The requirement has just been publicised by Zifa, so it is a bit too early for us to rush to our next step because it might, in turn, affect the whole project.”
A number of coaches, including Dynamos’ Murape Murape and Caps United assistant Tostao Kwashi, could be affected by the purge if they do not take up the Caf A courses that are likely to restart this year.