SCUZ back Pasuwa
By Petros Kausiyo
The Soccer Coaches Union of Zimbabwe have leapt to the defence of fired Warriors gaffer Callisto Pasuwa with the organisation arguing that ZIFA were too harsh in dismissing the former Dynamos mentor who has been held accountable for Zimbabwe’s failed African Cup of Nations campaign.
ZIFA on Tuesday wrote to Pasuwa advising him they were terminating his contract on February 28 with the Association indicating the move was in line with recommendations they received from their High Performance Committee, which suggested against renewing the coach’s tenure.
But SCUZ, a labour body that represents local coaches, yesterday backed their member Pasuwa and felt ZIFA had not taken a “holistic approach to resolving the problems that caused the Warriors failure in Gabon”.
Ironically, SCUZ is led by Moses Chunga, who is a member of the High Performance Committee.
SCUZ secretary-general Newsome Mutema said yesterday they believe ZIFA’s move to axe the coach from the Warriors structures was regrettable adding that the union would have preferred a scenario where the association helped to build Pasuwa’s capacity, drawing from the senior team’s experience in Gabon.
Mutema said, although they noted that it was within ZIFA’s mandate to hire and fire Warriors’ coaches, they believe as a union that “the association should have retained Pasuwa and help groom him into a better coach”.
“We have noted with concern the move taken by ZIFA to fire the national coach. We believe that firing Pasuwa might not be the solution to our football problems.
“We believe that we should look at other factors like the number of shortcomings including what we did not do right administratively and which affected our preparations and those shortcomings played a role in influencing our team’s performance.
“It’s not entirely technical deficiencies that affect results and in our case we had some disruptions that affected our team’s preparations and we are of the view that ZIFA should try to also look at the issues they failed to address that also contributed to the national team struggling in Gabon.
“We also need as a country to seriously review our development programmes because I think we are one country that expects a senior team coach to be teaching players how to control the ball when that should have been done at developmental level,” Mutema said.
Mutema also pleaded with ZIFA to continue giving local coaches a chance to take charge of the Warriors and suggested that the association needs to put in place measures to groom coaches in much the same way as players are identified and developed in the country.
“Pasuwa is a very good coach and what ZIFA should have done is not completely dump him, but they should have looked at ways to improve his capacity either by sending him for attachments or for upgrade courses.
“What they have done is to crucify him for Zimbabwe’s AFCON failure, but that failure was not his alone and if we don’t look at all the other factors that led to our demise, we will never learn and improve for future competitions,” Mutema said.
Mutema said ZIFA needed to set more realistic goals for the various national teams with the targets falling in line with the association’s capacity to meet the goals.
The SCUZ spokesman said they would also recommend to ZIFA to broaden the composition of the HPC so that it does not become a body largely composed of coaches only.
Former referee Masimba Chihowa is the only member appointed to the committee who is not a coach.
The other members of the committee, who include Chunga, Sunday Chidzambwa, Innocent Chogugudza, Rahman Gumbo and Taurai Mangwiro are all coaches by profession.
“As a nation we are asking for too much from our national team without investing too much. It is not enough to just look for incentives without investing in the preparations.
“Technically, Pasuwa had just one friendly match against Cameroon to assess his team and make some corrections and for a tournament of this magnitude that was not enough.
“When going to tournaments like these we need enough experts to do support duties and beef up the technical team, we need experts like psychologists who can also help players to deal with situations of playing at such a huge tournament for the first time.
“There is need to have nutritionists and even more sports medicine personnel and when you look at our technical department it was the thinnest compared to those of the teams that we faced and Pasuwa had to do a lot more than just coaching.
“So I think the HPC made an error of just focussing on the technical shortcomings of the coach in their review of the performance without considering all the other factors and the absence of the experts that I have mentioned.
“The HPC itself needs to be broadened so that its experts are not just those of a coaching background like we currently have.
“So many times we talk about development, but we have noticed that NAPH and NASH only come alive when it is election time and thereafter ZIFA is not visible in the schools programmes and that is why our schools at the moment do have any ZIFA football philosophy to use,” Mutema said. The Herald