Ray Bande Senior Sports Reporter
SUNDAY “Mhofu” Chidzambwa’s service as the senior men’s national team coach at a time when the country’s football mother body is yelling about Fifa Club Licensing is exposing the football mother body’s double standards and insincerity.
Chidzambwa does not have a Caf A coaching badge – the highest coaching qualification on the local market. Among many areas of concern, the Fifa Club Licensing system demands that coaches have requisite qualifications for the respective leagues their clubs are affiliated to.
In fact, no coach is now allowed to sit on a domestic Premiership football team technical dugout without a Caf A coaching licence. However, Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda, who is heads the Zifa technical and development committee as well as the high performance committee, defended the idea to have Chidzambwa in charge of the country’s flagship football team saying they considered his track record and past achievements.
“The Fifa Club Licensing System is meant for clubs not the national team. It is a different thing altogether when it comes to the national team. At the moment our attention is on clubs and not the national teams. Therefore, the issue of Sunday Chidzambwa does not fall under the same bracket as that of Premier Soccer League coaches. He is our national team coach because of his track record and past achievements,” said Sibanda.
Thus, questions have arisen over the sincerity and impartiality of Zifa when it comes to qualifications of coaches as espoused in the Fifa Club Licensing System.
Neutrals continue asking the logic behind asking top flight league teams to hire coaches with a Caf A coaching qualification while the national team coach – the nation’s flagship football team – is being coached by a less qualified coach. Those singing from that hymn are questioning the logic behind having players in the Premiership being trained and instructed by qualified coaches only to be dumped into the hands of less qualified personnel when they are called for national duty.
They also find it illogical for coaches who are in charge of Premiership clubs to be asked to have a Caf A coaching qualification while the same coaches aspire to be a national team coach – a post currently being held by someone less qualified than them. Chidzambwa, who told our sister paper The Herald this week that he will he heading for an attachment with a high profile club overseas, last had a coaching course way back in November 1986 when he went to Brazil for a three-week high-level course.
In fact, Chidzamba first went for a coaching course in Brazil in February 1985 with the late former Dynamos and CAPS United coach Obediah “Wasu” Sarupinda before returning to the South American country for a similar mission in November 1986. Since then the veteran gaffer has been practicing locally and winning accolades with clubs such as Dynamos as well as the senior national team. Ironically, Zifa board member for competitions Piraishe Mabhena this week told Post Sport that the association will get tougher on Club Licensing this year.
“Enforcement of Club Licensing System will be tougher this year since we want to run the game in a professional manner. We want to get into the culture of doing things the right way.
“In fact, we will have an all stakeholders indaba before the season start on Club Licensing. We had scheduled it for December then postponed to January but financial constraints have hindered us from having the indaba held.
“I cannot comment on the issue of national team coaches’ qualifications since there is an office that directly deals with that. What I know is that the issue of coaches’ qualifications is a serious matter that is also covered in the Club Licensing System,” said the former Zifa Eastern Region leader.