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Date: 16 December 2018

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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ZIFA finally appoints Mapeza

[Posted 03 Mar 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Norman Mapeza is back in charge as Warriors" coach

Common sense finally prevailed at Zimbabwe Football Association House on Wednesday when they announced the appointment of Norman Mapeza as substantive coach of the country's national soccer team.

ZIFA President, Cuthbert Dube who had been given the mandate, together with his two deptuies to find the substantive coach following the Tom Saitfeit debacle, failed to convince Charles Mhlauri to return as Warriors' coach, and ha settled on his second choice, Mapeza.

"We would have wanted him (Muhlauri), but it was taking too long to finalise.

"On Tuesday next week we need to announce the team to face Mali at the end of the month, and before then we have a friendly match against Namibia in Windhoek we could not continue with negotiations with Charles, Dube said.

Mhlauri had been given up until last Sunday to confirm his interest in the Warriors' job, after which Zifa would look elsewhere, and it is exactly what Dube and company did on Wednesday. 

Mapeza, who should have been appointed long before ZIFA embarked on an ill-advised attempt to appoint Tom Saintfeit, was a caretaker coach after Sunday Chidzambwa had quit the Warriors early last year, until the ZIFA in-fighting pushed him out.

ZIFA's failure to appoint Mapeza after many months as a caretaker coach, resulted in unfortunate cicumstances, which included the failure to obtain a work permit for Saintfeit.

During that ZIFA confusion, the Warriors lost two points in a home match which they should have won against Cape Verde. Zimbabwe was in unprecedented position which saw the team appointing co-coaches two days before the match against the Group A pacesetters last October.

The result was confusion from the bench, and a painful 0-0 home draw.

There is nothing that the sorry ZIFA can do to compensate for lost time, consequences of their poor leadership, but one hopes that Mapeza will be able to steer the Warriors to at least a result against Mali in Bamako.

Mapeza has requested to be assisted by the same technical team with which he qualified Zimbabwe for the CHAN finals where the team fared badly under the Warriors legend Madinda Ndlovu's guidance.

Motor Action's title winning coach Joey Antipas, Richard Tswatswa and Shariff Mussa will continue to work with Mapeza if ZIFA accede to the new coach's request.

There is however, no place for Madinda in Mapeza's proposed technical team, a decision which will please a legion of Warriors' fans who had grown impatient not only with the Black Mambas coach, but with what some of the fans viewed as ZIFA's imposition of Madinda on the Warriors.   

Meanwhile, Zifa has announced that the Warriors will play a friendly against the Brave Warriors of Namibia before a final squad is announced for the Mali tie.

What this basically means is that the bulk of the squad will be made up of locally based playes and those drawn from South Africa's ABSA Premiership.

There could still be places for some European-based stars such as Ovidy Karuru of US Bolougne in France, Russian Premier League club Terek Grozny's new signing Musa Mguni, Noel Kaseke who is based in Cyprus, among other foreign based stars.

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