Story by Mhlomuli Ncube
THE Zimbabwe Football Association’s move to bar coaches without CAF A licences from taking charge of Premier Soccer League teams is having far reaching consequences on local football with league returnees Hwange in a catch 22 situation.
Hwange who bounced back to the Premier Soccer League after winning the sole ticket from the Southern Region Division One League are coached by Bongani Mafu who holds a UEFA B coaching license.
With ZIFA insisting on CAF A licences for Premier Soccer League coaches, Hwange have been left in a dilemma.
Chipangano are however hopeful that they will be granted a waiver.
“We want to adhere to the standardisation as set by Zifa and we also hope that there will be a way in which we can engage and find a solution. We believe in the betterment of football through such resolutions and we want to find a way that will be beneficial to us as we go forward,” said Khumbulani Mbano, Hwange FC Administrator.
The move has been widely condemned given that most countries in the region like Zambia, Malawi and Botswana are accepting CAF B licences in the top flight but ZIFA remains adamant that there will be no exemptions.
“The club licencing needs to be adhered to for the betterment of Zimbabwean football which is in dire need of us implementing resolutions that we would have agreed on. All the resolutions which we have done on club licenses need to be implemented by the PSL, the region and the zones, if we are to be serious about football we need to implement them,” said
Gift Banda, Acting ZIFA CEO.
Contacted to comment on the matter, the Premier Soccer League who are the custodians of top flight football said their hands are tied.
“There were waivers, specific cases that were considered like coaches that have won championships recently, then the Fifa Executive Committee ordered that we implement the resolutions,” said Kenny Ndebele, PSL CEO.
Besides Mafu who holds a UEFA B certificate, other top local coaches including Chicken Inn’s Joey Antipas and Takesure Chirangwi of Ngezi Platinum who hold CAF B licences will also be affected by the directive.