BY TERRY MADYAUTA
FORMER Warriors forward Joel Lupahla has made a passionate plea to football authorities to look beyond just the Confederation of African Football (Caf) A coaching license as he bids to keep his job at newly promoted Castle Lager Premier Soccer League side, TelOne.
Lupahla does not have the coaching badge that Zifa is now demanding for one to coach a topflight side.
He is one of the coaches that will be affected if Zifa insist that coaches without the license will not be allowed to sit on the bench.
TelOne have not appointed a new coach, presumably in the hope that the authorities may soften their stance on Club Licensing rules.
Lupahla helped the Gweru-based side gain promotion into the topflight league after they won the Central Region championship last year.
Zifa, have hinted that there could be a softening of the stance.
Nonetheless, the demands by the mother body have not gone down well with other coaches accusing Zifa of selectively applying the Caf A licensing requirements to favour such coaches like current Warriors gaffer Sunday Chidzambga.
Chidzambga has been exempted from the new demands after heading the Warriors to qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2004.
Lupahla also feels that his contributions to the local game deserve to be recognised as in the case of Chidzambga.
“I have done a lot for football in Zimbabwe. I started this journey when I was just 18 years old, now I am 42,” Lupahla said.
“My whole life has been about serving this country in football circles from club level up to national team level.
“I played for the Warriors, something that many players did not manage until the end of their playing career and that deserves to be respected.
Lupahla said local football should not be narrowed to a “paper” which he believes does not determine a coaches’ intellectual acumen.
“At the end of the day, the requirement is just a paper and I hope our local game will not be reduced to just a paper. Football goes beyond that.
“What matters are the boys we will be coaching, what will we make of them if we are thrown from here to there because of a single document?
“If the authorities say I must not coach then I will not force myself to do what they prohibit. In fact, I have left this for the club bosses to decide. I will just follow their decision.”