By Eddie Chikamhi
RAHMAN GUMBO bounced back as Warriors’ coach, on an interim basis, exactly eight years after being pushed from the same post as chaos engulfed the national team after an embarrassing 0-3 home defeat at the hands of Nigeria.
Gumbo replaces Norman Mapeza who has been sidelined from taking charge of the 2013 Nations Cup qualifier against Burundi later this month after being fingered in the Asiagate scandal.
The Herald yesterday exclusively revealed that Gumbo was set to be named the Warriors’ interim coach for the game against Burundi and we correctly announced that David Mandigora would be his assistant.
Mapeza and his assistant, Joey Antipas, were swept by the Asiagate tide and will now need to clear their names before an Independent Ethics Committee before they can be considered to return to the national team.
Gumbo, who is the head coach of the ambitious Zvishavane side FC Platinum, will be assisted by Mandigora who replaced Antipas in the new set-up. Warriors’ legend Peter Ndlovu has been given his first coaching assignment after being named the Zimbabwe Under-23 soccer team coach.
He will be assisted by Dynamos coach Callisto Pasuwa in a surprise set-up given that the latter has the better coaching credentials and experience. Pasuwa is just coming from a season where he won the league and cup double while Ndlovu, despite an illustrious playing career, has yet to cut his milk teeth in coaching at any level.
Jairos Tapera, the former Chapungu United defender who guided FC Platinum into the Premiership, has been named the national Under-20 coach. His assistant is Gunners’ assistant coach, George Madira.
All the national team managers – Sharrif Mussa (Warriors), Wellington Mpandare (Under-23) and Eddie Chivero (Under-20) – have been swept away by the tide.
Mussa has been replaced by Dynamos executive committee member, Nyika Chifamba, while Mpandare has been replaced by Chris Chitindi who bounces back after having worked with the Warriors. Lloyd Chinawa, the former manager of defunct side Highway, is now the Under-20 manager.
The revised national technical teams’ set-up has a distinct and strong Southern Region flavour with all the head coaches coming from that part of the country. Dynamos also features prominently by provided former coach, Mandigora, and current executive committee member, Chifamba, to the technical teams.
Only the Warriors’ goalkeepers’ coach, Richard Tswatswa, has survived the changes. Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze said the board resolved at their emergency meeting yesterday to suspend all individuals fingered in the Asiagate report as they hope for a fresh start following allegations of match-fixing which rocked the game between 2007 and 2009.
Until last week about 80 players had been suspended from national team duty pending investigations by the Independent Ethics Committee set up by Zifa to clean-up the mess in Zimbabwean football. Mashingaidze said the exercise has included coaches and officials, who now need to clear their names with the committee after they were fingered in the report.
“To start with, the board resolved that all individuals members fingered in the Asiagate report were suspended with immediate effect and will not be considered for national team duty until they are cleared by the independent ethics committee.
“The board also resolved to move forward by appointing a technical team to take charge of the game against Burundi this month. This is just an interim structure and we are hoping to get a substantive one after the Burundi game,” said Mashingaidze.
“Starting tomorrow (today), the coaches will be working on their call-up for the players and their training programme because we don’t want to impose anything on them.”
The new technical team is expected to come up with their squad for the away game, to be played on February 29, before the weekend. Gumbo and his lieutenants will have to dig deep for players as their options have been severely limited following the bracket suspensions by Zifa.
Mashingaidze said Gumbo who is also involved in the Champions League campaign with FC Platinum has no problem with the two roles.
FC Platinum are expected to host Green Mambas of Swaziland the same week the Warriors travel to Burundi. Zimbabwe and Burundi will meet in a midweek fixture on February 29 while Platinum will host Mambas in the return leg of their preliminary round qualifier the same weekend.
“Obviously when one accepts an offer it means that he knows how he is going to juggle his time. The good thing is that the matches are not played on the same day and he will be back in time for his club.
“We have talked to FC Platinum and they have agreed to release him for national duty,” said Mashingaidze. He also said the board would review the technical sides for the women’s sides and the age group teams to include the Under-13, Under-15 and Under-17s at their next board meeting.
Zifa national teams appointments
Coach – Rahman Gumbo
Assistant – David Mandigora
Goalkeepers Coach – Richard Tswatswa
Team manager – Nyika Chifamba
Coach – Peter Ndlovu
Assistant coach – Callisto Pasuwa
Goalkeepers Coach – Peter Nkomo
Team manager – Chris Chitindi
Coach – Jairos Tapera
Assistant Coach – George Madira
Goalkeepers Coach – Labani Kandi
Team manager – Lloyd Chinhava