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Date: 16 December 2018

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Mhlauri stalls on contract offer

[Posted 23 Feb 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Will Mhlauri be tempted by ZIFA promises and leave a secure USA job to re-unite with the Warriors?

Despite numerous reports from Harare suggesting that the Zimbabwe Football Association's efforts to bring back Charles Mhlauri into the Warriors' fold is a done deal, are proving to be just rumours and not truth, with revelations that Mhlauri has stalled on signing a contract in the absence of salary guarantees.

Mhlauri has been given up until Sunday to make up his mind before ZIFA considers other options for a substantive coach.

The country's senior national soccer team has been without a substantive coach ever since Sunday Chidzambwa resigned early last year. Attempts to appoint Belgian Tom Saintfeit proved frutile as ZIFA failed to justify his appointment to the Immigration Affairs Department.

Mhlauri, who is based in the USA where he is in contract with Lightning Soccer Club, has demanded that ZIFA guarantees his monthly salary, which Beezsports understands to be in the region of US$10 000.

The former CAPS United coach is also holding out on his demand for a US$200 000 advance payment before he can uproot his family from USA and bring them back to Zimbabwe.

The coach's demand does not sound like an unreasonable one for a coach who is still owed US$15 000 from his previous tenure as Warriors coach, which ended with his resignation in 2007.

“I have made it clear that I’m not only prepared to give my personal guarantees for that, but we have also been talking to FIFA with a view of using part of the US$300,000 bonus we are set to get soon, to help fund Mhlauri’s package, " ZIFA president Cuthbert Dube said recently.

Yet, this does not sound convincing enough to Mhlauri. They say once beaten twice shy. It appears like Mhlauri has learnt his lesson in the past in terms of dealing with perennially broke associations like Zifa.

Dube, who is proving not to be the leader whose words can be relied upon, found an opportunity to make another popular statement about the choice of Norman Mapeza, whom he knows very well is not liked by some members of his divided board.

“My position remains that if we don’t get Mhlauri, then we have to turn to Mapeza and give him the job so that he completes the remainder of our African Nations Cup qualifiers,” Dube added controversially.

News from the USA indicate that Mhlauri's current club is aware of the attempts by Zifa to 'steal away' their Director of coaching and lure him back to Africa. They have reportedly counter-offered, and Mhlauri is a man at the cross-roads right now.

Given time constraints, with the Mali fixture coming later in March, what will Zifa do, should they fail to lure Mhlauri back as Warriors coach?

Will they turn to Mapeza now? Will the championship winning coach with Monomotapa accept coming back given the circumstances under which he left?

Or will Zifa go on another hunting mission, and attempt to lure another Zimbabwean-born coach who already has commitments with a foreign club? Will that not be another futile exercise?

Names such as Ian Gorowa, care-taker coach of Mamelodi Sundowns and Rahman Gumbo have come up recently. But in all fairness to Gorowa, has he done anything as a coach to prove that he deserves to be appointed to the Warriors coaching position?

Well, Rahman has at least proven to be a good club coach. He has won titles in three different countries in Southern Africa, that is in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Botswana. But has his teams done anything to prove that he can be successful at international level?

With all these difficult questions, it appears like Zifa may be forced to stick to the man whom Warriors' fans love to hate these days,especially following the dismal performance of the Warriors at the Championship of Nations finals, currently underway....Madinda Ndlovu.

Long before the Chan finals, Warriors fans had questioned the pedigree of Ndlovu to succeed at national team level when he had failed terribly at club level in Zimbabwe and Botswana.

One can only feel sorry for the masses of fans who are anxiously watching the press spaces for a piece of news that can brighten up their day.

There is no better news for a Warriors fan than hearing that Charles Mhlauri has accepted to return as coach, or that some dude with a good reputation has secured the job to guide our beloved Warriors to qualification to the 2012 Afcon finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.  

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