FC PLATINUM coach Tennant Chilumba has quit the Zimbabwe club to join Zambian giants Power Dynamos as revealed by Southern Eye Sport last week.
REPORT BY WELLINGTON TONI
Assistant coach, Tendai Chikuni will be in charge of the Castle Premiership giants until the Zvishavane side make a substantive appointment.
Chikuni’s first match in charge will be against Motor Action at the Motor Action Sports Club in Harare next Wednesday, before hosting Black Rhinos at Mandava Stadium in week 15, to round off the first half of the season.
FC Platinum president George Mawere said in a statement yesterday: “FC Platinum Football Club advises that it has agreed with immediate effect to release Tennant Chilumba as its first team coach following requests for his services by Power Dynamos of Zambia as well as that country’s football authorities where he serves as a member of the national team’s technical committee.
“Since joining FC Platinum, Chilumba had become an integral part of the club, which he has assisted in ensuring that it remains a competitive top-flight team. However, demands for his services by his country’s national team have placed an overdue burden on his work schedule and made it impossible to continuously balance his frequent trips with the need to maintain regular presence at the club he dearly loves.
“Tendai Chikuni, who has had a previous stint as coach of the club and was first assistant to Chilumba, will take over as caretaker coach, until a substantive replacement has been found.”
This is not the first time that Chikuni has been in the hot seat. He took over from Rahman Gumbo last season, only to end the season in seventh place. With news of Chilumba’s departure spreading like wildfire yesterday, a number of names have already been thrown into the fray to take over.
Norman Mapeza and Lloyd Chitembwe have been in the frame for more than a year now, but Platinum have not considered them.
Highlanders boss Kelvin Kaindu, whose contract runs out at the end of the year at the Bulawayo giants, has also come into the picture.
Power Dynamos sacked Beston Chambeshi and the entire coaching bench after a poor run of results and immediately invited Chilumba for interviews last Wednesday. He was set to be officially unveiled at the Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe yesterday.
Chilumba, the 2011 Coach of the Year, had only been in charge of Platinum for 13 matches having arrived from Hwange in the off-season. Platinum lie in fifth position with 22 points, seven behind leaders Highlanders.
Platinum have won six matches, drawn four and lost three this season. Chilumba played for Power Dynamos in the 1995 and 1996 seasons and has previously coached Prison Leopards and Kabwe Warriors in Zambia.
Meanwhile, Platinum say they will investigate the case in which Harare City coach Bigboy Mawiwi alleges that he was harassed by the Zvishavane side’s marshalls during the two sides’ Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) clash at Mandava Stadium two weeks ago.
The match, which Harare City played under protest, ended 1-1. Mawiwi alleges that he was soaked in urine and had salt sprinkled on him just before the match.
Platinum media officer Chido Chizondo yesterday confirmed having received an official complaint from Harare City, but said they had not been aware of the alleged harassment until the complaint was made.
“I can confirm that we have received an official complaint from Harare City regarding the alleged incident. We are definitely going to institute an investigation into the matter to establish what really transpired before we take any action.
“I should, however, state that we were not aware of the incident until the official complaint was made. We will follow it up and get to the bottom of the matter,” she said.
PSL chief executive officer Kenny Ndebele also confirmed having received Harare City’s complaint, saying FC Platinum will be summoned for a hearing.