Mhofu quits Warriors

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BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA

THE Warriors’ 2020 African Nations Championships (CHAN) bid was thrown into turmoil yesterday after head coach Sunday Chidzambga tendered his resignation in unclear circumstances ahead of the first leg qualifier to Mauritius on Sunday.

Chidzambga did not elaborate on the reasons for his decision, but appeared to suggest that he was being given a raw deal by his employers amid alleged reports of interference by some officials.

“Yes, I have quit with immediate effect. Muno hatiite zvebhora (Zimbabwe is not a footballing nation). Reflecting on what has been happening to me, I decided
to be on the sidelines. I think that is all I can say for now,” Chidzambga said in his parting shot.

The veteran coach had assembled a 32-member squad of home-based players to prepare for the trip to Mauritius on Friday.

However, after the team’s training session in the morning at the Yadah complex, Chidzambga uncharacteristically refused to speak to journalists.

The players were also gagged from talking to the media. The former Dynamos coach then proceeded to tender his resignation letter to Zifa.

The letter which was addressed to the Zifa president Felton Kamambo reads: “This letter serves to notify you of my decision to resign from the position of
coach of the Zimbabwe men’s national football team with immediate effect. My last day at work will be July 24, 2019. I wish to convey my profound gratitude to
the association for the time that I have served as the national team coach.”

Repeated efforts to get comment from Kamambo were unsuccessful yesterday.

Chidzambga had also faced criticism for overlooking Caps United midfielder Joel Ngodzo widely regarded as one of the best home-based players at the moment when he named the CHAN squad on Monday.

The decision to leave him out appears to have aided the rapidity and momentum to a process that was already in motion.

He, however, called him up at the last minute after bowing down to pressure from the public. Ngodzo was part of the team that played against Yadah FC in a
dress rehearsal match for the Sunday showdown against Mauritius.

On his part Ngodzo, however, has no passport and has been trying to renew it with the assistance of his club Caps amid reports of shortage of material to
process passports. The Green Machine are now hoping that with the help of the soccer controlling body, the player should secure a passport to enable him to
make the trip to Mauritius.

Chidzambga’s future had been a subject of speculation after the Warriors failed to go beyond the group stage in Egypt.

The Warriors managed only a point from a 1-all draw against Uganda, while they suffered defeats to Egypt (0-1) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (0-4).

Zimbabwe has never gone beyond the group stage at the continental soccer show case in their history and Chidzambga had been given a target to reach at least
the knock out stage, but reports of sabotage in the camp is understood to have worked against him.
Chidzambga had also said he deserved another chance to continue with the team arguing that lack of continuity has been one of the reasons for Zimbabwe’s
failure at the big stage.

Meanwhile, Rahman Gumbo has been tasked to take charge of the team in an interim capacity. He will be assisted by Lloyd Mutasa and Brenna Msiska.