PASUWA QUITS BUT Zifa say he is still in charge

Callisto Pasuwa

Callisto Pasuwa

Harare Bureau
ZIFA insist Callisto Pasuwa is still the Warriors coach, despite the gaffer announcing his resignation from the Gabonese capital, Libreville, on Tuesday and they have set in motion a process that could culminate in him having a change of mind.

Pasuwa revealed exclusively to our correspondent he had quit his post as the Warriors gaffer after taking full responsibility for the team’s failed campaign at the 2017 Nations Cup finals where they finished bottom of their group without a win to their credit.

The 46-year-old coach later also told Kenyan journalist, Collins Okinyo, who is working for SuperSport.com that he was walking away from his job.

“I believe I have done my best in all the circumstances and once I get home I will tender my resignation to pave way for another person to take over,” Pasuwa told Okinyo in comments carried by SuperSport.com

“It’s a tough decision but with the prevailing circumstances I have to go back home and get something else to do.”

But Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda, who was the head of delegation during the Warriors tour of duty in Gabon, yesterday maintained Pasuwa had not communicated officially to the national football association his intentions to step down.

Speaking after the team’s arrival from Gabon yesterday, the veteran football administrator also proclaimed that Warriors captain Willard Katsande was still part of the Warriors despite the Kaizer Chiefs man having confirmed his resignation from international football.

The Warriors were welcomed at Harare International Airport by a small delegation of Zifa officials led by acting chief executive officer Joseph Mamutse and technical director Taurai Mangwiro and a few of their friends and relatives.

There were also representatives from the team’s sponsors NetOne who were among the first to arrive at the airport.

The mobile company sponsored the Warriors’ trip and two fans who went to Gabon to cheer the Warriors.

“I am just coming from Gabon and I was the HOD. He never approached me, he never told me and he never handed me a letter (of resignation),” said Sibanda.

“Despite the losses we suffered we were in good mood at the hotel and we were together on the plane, they never said anything.

“We are going to sit down some time this week and I must hand over a report. I have not met the president (Philip Chiyangwa) yet.

“Pasuwa is still our coach and Katsande is still our captain. I was with them in Gabon and they never told me anything. We will tackle it when it comes to us. We went to Gabon as a team and we came back as a team. Our heads are very high.

“Morale is a bit low because we lost and we lost unfairly. You cannot compare the presence of the Anglophone versus the Francophone, 12 countries against you.

“It was very difficult against us and that was unfair competition and still remains unfair. This is the power which we think should be balanced in terms of distribution of the hosting regions. As we speak Gabon is hosting the Afcon and the next in 2019 it’s Cameroon, Francophone throughout. Why?”

Sibanda said the Warriors did their best under the circumstances.

“I was there in Gabon, they did their best, Pasuwa did his best. I saw it for myself. I am happy for Pasuwa and the team,” said Sibanda.

“We respected each other and I dismiss all the gossip that has been flying around that I do not like him.”

Pasuwa was non-committal when asked about his position.

He said he had nothing more to talk about his resignation when the team returned home yesterday.

The Warriors coach told our Harare Bureau on Tuesday that he was stepping down after his team finished bottom of the table in Group B at the tournament in Gabon.

When quizzed by reporters upon the team’s arrival from Gabon yesterday afternoon, Pasuwa said he was not in a position to discuss his future.

“On that I have no comment as of now. I have to meet my manager first. No comment,” said Pasuwa.

Pasuwa confirmed that Warriors skipper Katsande had resigned from international football.

He said Katsande approached him on the decision to quit the national team and concentrate on club career.

Pasuwa, however, advised the 31-year old midfielder to reconsider his decision.

He said Katsande’s experience was still needed in the team especially with the 2019 qualifiers approaching.

“I think he is one guy who has been a pillar in the team. He has been giving guidance to the players and I think maybe he needs to reconsider his decision and come back for another dance with the Warriors,” said Pasuwa.

Katsande also spoke about his position.

“For me 90 percent of my decision is clear that I feel like I have played my part. I have played with pride. You would never doubt my commitment in national colours.

“It might not have been a good game but in terms of commitment, the commitment was always tops. I can say thank you again. I’m humbled with everything I got.

“It’s hard to leave football especially for my country. I wish I could play until 40 or 41 but at the end of the day there is a new generation coming.

“We still need to see another great leader, another Willard Katsande to step up. How can they step up? By paving the way for them so this is the time for me to pave the way,” said Katsande.

Article Source: The Chronicle