KALISTO Pasuwa has been recommended to lead the Warriors for the 2017 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers and will also double as head coach of the Young Warriors.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
This follows a meeting of the High Performance Committee (HPC) in the capital last night.
Reports had suggested that veteran coach Sunday Chidzambwa, whose ban from football has been lifted by Zifa, would be installed as Warriors coach.
However, Zifa board member for development John Phiri, who also chairs the HPC, emerged from the meeting last night to announce that his committee had, after deliberations, settled for Pasuwa.
But he said theirs were simply recommendations which were subject for approval by the Zifa board. However, since it is the same board that forms the HPC, it follows that they will give the decision the thumbs-up.
“We have recommended as the HPC that Kalisto Pasuwa would be in charge of the team for all the competitions. You know, we have the Cosafa, the Olympic qualifiers, the 2017 Afcon, there is going to be the African Nations Championship and we will also take part in the All-Africa Games as we have qualified,” said Phiri adding that the Zifa board would discuss with the coaches on contractual issues once they approve the recommendations.
Pasuwa will be in charge of all Warriors assignments, but will share responsibilities with Saul Chaminuka. Chaminuka will be in charge of the team at the Cosafa tournament together with Under-20 national team coach Jairos Tapera.
Pasuwa, a winner of four successive championship titles with Harare giants DeMbare, will take charge of the Under-23 African Championship qualifier against Swaziland together with Nation Dube and Tembo Chuma who have been his assistant coach and goalkeepers’ coach respectively.
The committee also agreed to let Pasuwa lead the Afcon campaign where they feel Under-23 players should be the core of the team, but the technical team has been given the leeway to bring in senior players.
The HPC is made up of Gibson Homela, who is the vice-chairman, Misheck Chidzambwa, former Zifa board member Benedict Moyo and Bhekimpilo Nyoni, who is the coaches’ committee chairman.
Zifa technical director Maxwell Takaendesa Jongwe, Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu, Zifa coaches manager Mike Ngore and Charles “Raw Meat” Sibanda are some of the members of the committee.
Pasuwa, who has qualified the Young Warriors to the 2015 African Games in Congo-Brazzaville in September, has already been tasked by Zifa to select the squad to represent the country at the Cosafa tournament in South Africa next month.
He has also named another squad that will take on Swaziland in the Under-23 African Championship qualifiers in Harare — the same weekend Zimbabwe will clash against Namibia in their second match of the Cosafa Cup on May 21 in Moruleng, South Africa.
The winners of that encounter will face South Africa in the final qualifying round with victors from that encounter sealing a ticket for the finals to be held in Senegal after original hosts, the Democratic Republic of Congo, withdrew to focus on preparations for that country’s elections.
The winners in the qualifying round match against South Africa were supposed to meet Senegal in the last qualifying round, but as hosts, Senegal are no longer participating in the qualifiers.
The top three teams at the finals in Senegal will automatically qualify for the 2016 Olympics to be held in Brazil, while the fourth-placed team will be involved in a play-off against an Asian team.
Zimbabwe were also drawn to face Guinea, Malawi and Swaziland in the 2017 Afcon qualifiers.