THE Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has been warned to put its house in order by ending recurrent pay disputes with national team players if Braz
ilian coach Jose Claudinei Giorgini, known as Valinhos, is to succeed at the helm of the Warriors.
Zimbabwe international defender Zvenyika Makonese implored Zifa to ensure Valinhos — appointed this week — and the Warriors were all happy.
In the past national team players have resorted to sit-ins and boycott threats to force Zifa to pay them their allowances and match bonuses.
The 30-year-old Makonese, a regular at the heart of the Warriors’ defence, said it was time the continual fights ceased.
“It is high time that Zifa finds the right balance as well so as to keep players focused on the job,” Makonese was quoted by South Africa’s Kick Off as saying yesterday.
“These continual fights over money on the eve of games must end now. The association must put value on the players who do duty for the nation — then it becomes easy for players to remain focused.”
However, it appears Zifa’s US$1 million budget to cater for the national teams has not been approved by the government yet.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) will be paying Valinhos’ salary in the hope that he will help lure finalists at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa to camp in Zimbabwe.
“We are coming in for the interim while the government is finalising the coach’s total package,” ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke said when Valinhos was unveiled on Tuesday.
“We are driven by the desire to ensure Zimbabwe becomes the most attractive destination for 2010.”
Meanwhile Makonese welcomed the appointment of Valinhos, who takes over from Charles Mhlauri who was fired last June for failing to lead the Warriors to the African Nations Cup finals starting in Ghana next weekend.
“It is good a new coach who has the backing of the national association has been appointed,” Makonese told Kick Off.
“Obviously, being someone from a country that has a rich football background, I am certain Valinhos will add value and ensure that the team progresses toward bigger and better things.”