HomeSportZifa defends Warriors coach Logarušić

Zifa defends Warriors coach Logarušić



ZIFA seems to be standing behind Warriors coach Zdravko Logarušić in the wake of a disastrous performance at the Cosafa Cup tournament in South Africa recently.

Zimbabwe crashed out of the tournament in the group stages, in one of their worst performances in the regional tournament.

The performance by the six-time champions has irked local football followers who are desperate to see the back of the Croat whose contract ends in six months.

Reports suggested that Zifa would likely terminate Loga’s contract when the technical and development committee meets to discuss the team’s performance in Port Elizabeth.

However, committee chairman Bryton Malandule  yesterday poured cold water on supporters that the coach would be booted out, revealing that the scheduled meeting was standard practice and did not mean action would be taken against Loga.

“The submission of a report by the coach is standard practice after every tournament or even after a game. It does not mean that action will be taken against the coach,” Malandule said.

“The hiring and firing of the coach is the prerogative of the Zifa board, with recommendations from the technical committee. We will, however, meet to review the performance of the team at Cosafa upon the submission of a report by the coach.”

The Warriors managed two draws against Malawi and Mozambique before suffering two defeats against Senegal and Namibia to finish bottom of Group B with a paltry two points.

Loga has, however, argued that he should not be judged by his performance at the regional tournament because most of his players were rusty.

Most of the players that were called for the Cosafa tournament last played league football in 2019. They only played less than seven games in the Chibuku Super Cup tournament.

He also could not secure the services of six of the key players he had picked for the tournament for various reasons at the last minute.

Knox Mtizwa, Evans Rusike, Elvis Moyo, Godknows Murwira, Perfect Chikwende and McClive Phiri, whom Loga said were all starters in the team, withdrew from the squad due to injury, family and healthy reasons.

The cheeky Logarušić also said part of the criticism against him was baseless as his contract with Zifa did not make it mandatory for him to win Cosafa Cup, but required him to qualify the team to the Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup finals.

Although the expatriate coach has managed to take the team to next year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals, his overall record since taking over of one win, four draws and seven losses in 12 matches has given his critics ammunition. With six months left on his contract, Zifa seems to be in a fix on whether to fire him and risk incurring costs associated or let him exhaust his term.

But with the World Cup qualifiers coming up in September, the country’s soccer motherbody is under pressure to either act now and give Loga the boot or allow his contract to run it full course which will include taking charge of the matches against South Africa, Ethiopia and Ghana.

Follow Tawanda on Twitter @Tafitawa

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