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Warriors risk losing Brito

Zifa rode on Brito’s contract with Highlanders which also ends on December 31 and now have to reengage the coach for a new contract and work permit.

The Warriors risk losing coach Baltemar Brito as his contract with Zifa lapses at the end of this month.

Zifa rode on Brito’s contract with Highlanders which also ends on December 31 and now have to reengage the coach for a new contract and work permit.

But while the coach has expressed his desire to continue with the national team, there is the risk that he could be persuaded elsewhere if Zifa drag their feet which would leave the Warriors without a  coach ahead of next year’s assignments.

When Zifa engaged the former Highlanders’ gaffer two months ago to take charge of the Warriors’ 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers, the impression given was that Brito and fitness and conditioning coach Antonio Torres’s contracts would run until June 24 when the Zifa normalisation committee’s tenure also ends, but it has turned out not to be.

Zifa normalisation committee chairman Lincoln Mutasa yesterday shed light on the duo’s deal saying their contracts were premised on their stay at Highlanders.

 “We gave them up to the end of December. We could not give them contracts that were different from that of Highlanders. Their contracts have to be re-visited, so we have to sit down as the normalisation committee on whether to seek to apply for an extension. Their current or initial contracts were in line with that of Highlanders.

“We have to re-apply to the Registrar General’s Office in terms of them getting their work permits. When they signed, we were relying on the Highlanders’ contracts,” Mutasa said.

Brito and Torres said they were waiting to hear from Zifa but could not discuss much on the issue.

Brito took charge of three Warriors matches, the first of which was an invitational friendly match against Botswana in Gaborone which ended in 1-1 draw in regulation time before Zimbabwe lost 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out.

In the 2026 Group C Fifa World Cup qualifiers, the Warriors played a goalless draw with Rwanda in the east African country where they stayed on to host Nigeria and drew 1-1 last month.

Brito arrived in Zimbabwe mid-last year and joined Highlanders who had fired Mandla Mpofu.

Torres was an assistant at Highlanders with Madinda Ndlovu and Joel Luphahla.

Highlanders staged a remarkable first-half performance in the Premier Soccer League, going 19 matches unbeaten and looked set to win the league title before faltering in the second half.

It was the first half performance that attracted Zifa to the Brazilian-born Brito, who has previously worked with the legendary former Inter-Milan coach Jose Mourinho.


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