UNDER fire, Zifa yesterday issued a groveling apology to national senior men’s football team coach Kalisto Pasuwa, over corruption allegations leveled against him and the subsequent firing. The decision has, however, been reversed. HENRY MHARA
The apology came as Zifa made frantic efforts to entice Pasuwa to return to work, but the association had by yesterday not met the other demand, which is a contract for the coach, who has been operating without one.
In firing Pasuwa, Zifa had alleged that Pasuwa had been engaging in underhand dealings in the manner the team selection was conducted.
On Thursday, the board which was elected at the beginning of the month relieved Pasuwa and his assistants of their duties and dissolved camp as the Warriors were preparing for the Chan finals that will be played in Rwanda next month.
But hardly 24 hours later, Zifa made a major climb down and reinstated the popular coach, following a public outcry.
However, Pasuwa, through his manager Gibson Mahachi, said he will not commit to the job again unless the association apologises and offers him a contract.
Yesterday, the Zifa executive committee met in Harare where they resolved to comply with Pasuwa’s demands and issued an apology.
It was not clear when the national team will return to camp, amid reports that Pasuwa is insisting on signing a contract first before he can resume work.
Zifa claimed yesterday that they were engaging in meetings to try and sort out the contract issue and until late he had not been offered one.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association would like to unreservedly apologise to members of the football fraternity, members of the Zifa congress, players, Coach Mr Kalisto Pasuwa, his manager Mr Gibson Mahachi, the Warriors technical team, members of the media and all interested stakeholders for the unfortunate disturbances that characterised the Senior national team’s African Nations Championship (Chan) preparations,” the statement read.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association Executive committee would like to reaffirm its commitment to service the beautiful game of football in its entirety in line with the mandate bestowed to us by the Zifa congress. The Zimbabwe Football Association Executive committee also resolved that Coach Kalisto Pasuwa be given a contract of employment as soon as possible. The Zimbabwe Football Association is currently seized with logistics for the technical team and players to resume camp immediately in preparation for the 2016 African Nations Championship (Chan) finals.”
Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze said they had started a process of drawing up a contract.
It was not clear though when camp will resume for the Chan tournament which kicks off in just over three weeks its work in progress. We are also discussing camping logistics
for the team because we want the players to be in camp as soon as possible,” Mashingaidze said.
Mahachi yesterday afternoon said they were yet to receive any communication from Zifa.
“The coach’s integrity had been tainted and they needed to clear his name. Everything else will follow,” Mahachi said.
The history-making coach was dismissed after he resisted the move by the new Zifa board to fire team manager Shariff Mussa and replace him with Wellington Mpandare.
In announcing the dismissal, Zifa vice president Omega Sibanda said it was Zifa’s mandate to appoint the coach and his technical staff and “not the other way round”.
Sibanda said they were also not comfortable with the situation where Mahachi was also managing players in the Warriors squad, saying it violated Fifa code of ethics.