By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
The Zifa executive committee meets in Harare today to deliberate on, among other issues, the Warriors’ coaching post which became vacant after the resignation of Sunday Chidzambwa last year.
The vacancy attracted a number of applications, largely from foreigners, with only Joey Antipas, who was interim coach and guided the Warriors to the Chan finals as well as the Fifa World Cup first round qualifiers, the only Zimbabwean to show interest in the job.
“The Zifa executive committee is meeting tomorrow and the issue of the Warriors job is on the agenda, so until then, we can’t comment further,” said the Zifa competitions and communications manager Xolisani Gwesela.
The technical and development committee chaired by Bryton Malandule shortlisted the applicants.
Other coaches said to have applied for the Warriors’ job include former Highlanders’ coaches Erol Akbay and Pieter de Jongh, who is now with FC Platinum.
Two Serbian nationals Micho and Kosta Papic, who had stints with South African giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates are among the foreign contingent that threw in their applications.
Sources, however, told Chronicle Sport that one of the coaches received adverse reports from almost all his former employers during a background check by Zifa, forcing the technical and development committee not to bother considering him during the shortlisting process.
“There were 14 applications for the post and since it’s already public knowledge that all but one are not Zimbabwean, Zifa will look at the best possible candidate, not only technically, but also someone whom the association will afford in terms of remuneration. Competition was tight except for one applicant, whose background report wasn’t that good and it was felt that it’s better not to even consider him,” said the source.
The Warriors begin their Afcon qualifiers by hosting continental champions Algeria in back-to-back matches on March 23 and 30, dates which were originally set aside for Fifa World Cup qualifiers. World Cup matches have now been pushed back to October. The Chronicle