THE Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) could soon announce the appointment of an internationally-recognised mentor to become the technical director of the national soccer team, this paper can
Investigations by IndependentSport have revealed that a renowned former South African national team coach is at the brink of sealing a deal with Zifa.
It has been confirmed that Zifa chairman Rafiq Khan visited South Africa twice last month and sources based in Cape Town this week said either Jomo Sono or Clive Barker could be on his way to Zimbabwe.
“Indeed something will be sealed soon with a highly-respected mentor but I can’t discuss names now,” said Khan on Wednesday. “We want to be through with this one before the team travels to Gabon next month.”
The Warriors travel to Gabon next month for the first Group Qualifying match of the 2006 World Cup to be held in Germany and the 2006 African Nations Cup in Egypt.
Khan said Warriors coach Sunday Marimo was aware of Zifa’s plans to bring a “highly-successful” mentor to beef up the technical team.
Marimo previously declined to have a technical advisor before the Warriors’ maiden appearance at the Nations Cup in Tunisia this year. The team bowed out in the first round and a barrage of criticism was directed at Marimo for his refusal to have a technical advisor.
Sources said Marimo was convinced to change his stance by the Zifa board which had given him a choice to either accept an advisor or quit the position of head coach.
A three-year contract is likely to be signed with either Sono or Barker, which goes up to the 2006 World Cup and Nations Cup finals. Zifa is understood to have been hunting for sponsorship to pay the foreign technical advisor.
Sources said negotiations between Zifa and former Zimbabwe charismatic goal-minder Bruce Grobbelar hit a brick wall after his “demands had proved to be too high for Zifa”.
Sono and Barker have indicated a willingness to go into a contract with Zifa on the agreement that they would be given sweeping powers as director of coaching in the country covering all national teams as well as Zifa affiliates, sources said.
Efforts to obtain comment from Sono were unsuccessful as he was said to be in France this week whilst Barker was difficult to locate.