Zifa fires Warriors coaches, players

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THE Zifa board has ripped through the entire Warriors set-up, firing personnel from the technical team down to the players following yet another failed African Cup of Nations qualifying campaign.

Report by Kevin Mapasure

The football mother body was expected to issue a statement late last night over the developments which are set to send tongues wagging within the soccer fraternity.

After a couple of marathon meetings this week the board which has kept the nation guessing since the disastrous 2-0 defeat to Angola last month took the bold decision to fire coach Rahman Gumbo, his assistants and players.

Zifa president Cuthbert Dube hinted several times that it was time to do away with the players who have failed the nation and allow juniors to grow in the senior national team set-up, but never gave anything away regarding the coaches’ fate. It thus seemed Gumbo, earlier this season fired by FC Platinum, would be spared, but he is jobless once again.

The Warriors carried a 3-1 lead to Angola which they were expected to defend and win a ticket to South Africa 2013, but by the 10th minute of that match Angola were in the driving seat courtesy of two goals by Manucho.

It is the manner of the defeat and not necessarily the result that irked football fans.

Gumbo did not bother to attend the media conference after the Angola trip, probably expecting to be fired. His assistant Peter Ndlovu who is likely to survive by virtue of his job with Under-23 side begged for another year in office.

Zimbabwe’s 2014 World Cup campaign is already in trouble after the team picked just one point from the first two matches, with Egypt (six points) leading the group.

The Brazil 2014 campaign will be used by the new technical team to be appointed soon to usher in juniors into the Warriors dressing room. It is not yet clear if the new coach will be allowed to pick younger players that have been axed, with the likes of Khama Billiat showing great potential.

Dube has declared that as long as he is in charge, Zimbabwe will not employ a foreign coach.

Top local coaches such as Luke Masomere, Joey Antipas, Norman Mapeza and Sunday Chidzambwa have been banned for various periods for involvement in the Asiagate scandal.

It leaves the likes of Moses Chunga and Willard Khumalo, among others, in contention but Zifa’s preferred choice is Charles Mhlauri whom they have failed to lure back from the United States as they cannot afford his wages.

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