Callisto Pasuwa

Callisto Pasuwa

Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa has lifted the lid on the uncertainty that had appeared to surround the status of Callisto Pasuwa and says he stands guided by the Warriors coach’s decision to quit shortly after the team crashed out of the African Cup of Nations finals in Gabon.

Chiyangwa says an engagement between ZIFA and the coach would have looked at the possibility of re-engagement depending on the recommendations of their High Performance Committee and the gaffer also being in a position to accept the terms of such a reunion.

Although he said he was yet to see the recommendations of the HPC which met Pasuwa last Friday, Chiyangwa said he will endorse their findings and proposals related to their relationship with the coach.

The ZIFA boss, however, said as far as he was concerned, Pasuwa quit his post in Gabon and he had been expecting him to follow that up, like a true professional, with an official resignation letter.

Pasuwa told The Herald he was walking away from his job a day after his team ended their disastrous campaign in Gabon with a crushing 4-2 defeat by Tunisia in their last Group B game on January 23.

A number of coaches, who also failed to meet their expectations in Gabon, notably Algeria’s George Leekens and Michel Dussuyer of Cote d’Ivoire have also left their jobs.

Tunisia’s Henry Kasperczak also threw in the towel following his team’s failure to progress past the Nations Cup quarter-final stage while former Chelsea boss Avram Grant will leave his post as Ghana coach at the end of this month after the Black Stars finished fourth on Saturday night.

The Black Stars lost their third place play-off match against Burkina Faso 1-0, marking the end of the Israeli’s reign as the coach of the Ghanaians.

The result leaves Grant short of his given target — to win this tournament.

According to reports from Accra yesterday, a senior Ghana Football Association official indicated that Grant’s two-year contract will not be renewed and the search is now on for a successor.

Chiyangwa said although he had not met Pasuwa since the Warriors’ return from Gabon, he was expecting the 46-year-old coach to follow his pronouncement by tendering his resignation in writing.

The ZIFA boss said he had not yet found time to study the HPC report and their set of recommendations and neither had he looked at the report compiled by his deputy Omega Sibanda who was the head of delegation during the Warriors tour of duty in Gabon.

Chiyangwa also said he had noted the varying reports on both social and mainstream media that had left Pasuwa’s status with the Warriors under speculation.

“There have been varying reports that seem to have been giving contradicting positions, but the most honourable thing is to allow Pasuwa to hand in his resignation letter.

“As far as I am concerned, he resigned while the team was still in Gabon and he has not come to tell me anything to the contrary.

“There have also been reports that have been prepared by the head of delegation and the High Performance Committee, but I have been too busy at the moment and I haven’t had time to go through the reports.

“I am trying to bring my business up to speed and I am also putting certain plans for the rejuvenation of ZIFA which must be implemented soon and that has been consuming most of my time.

“But I want to also make it clear that even though I have not had the opportunity to read the reports I have no power to change what the High Performance Committee recommends because it is a sub-committee that was established by the executive with the full support of the assembly,’’ Chiyangwa said.

The ZIFA boss said although he would later go through the HPC’s recommendations which also touched on the Mighty Warriors’ Women’s African Cup of Nations campaign in Cameroon, he was expecting to receive Pasuwa’s resignation letter.

“Pasuwa had already resigned while in Gabon and all I am waiting for now is for him to follow the professional route and drop his resignation letter just like what all the other coaches who have been leaving their jobs in Gabon have been doing.

“He said he was throwing in the towel and would give somebody else a chance to take over.

“So once he has handed in his resignation letter and relinquished the coach’s vehicle that he has, we will ask Machana (the board member finance) to pay his money and I want things to be sorted out amicably.

“We met in a friendly manner and we must part amicably,’’ Chiyangwa said.

It has also emerged that the HPC has also recommended that the axe should fall on Mighty Warriors coach Shadreck Mlauzi who is paying the price for the women’s side’s poor campaign in Cameroon in November.

With ZIFA ruling out a possibility of any immediate comeback by Pasuwa, the Warriors will now have a new man in charge of the dressing room when they begin their 2019 Nations Cup qualifying campaign in June.

The Warriors were drawn to face the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Congo in the qualifiers for a place at the next Nations Cup show-piece in Cameroon in two years.

Pasuwa’s successor would also have to assemble a squad of local players that will begin Zimbabwe’s quest for a record fifth appearance at the African Nations Championships in Kenya next year. In a draw and fixtures released by the Confederation of African Football on Saturday, the 2018 CHAN qualifiers will be played on a zonal basis with three slots reserved for the COSAFA region.

The Warriors received a first round bye and will begin their campaign in the second round with a date against Namibia in Windhoek on the weekend of July 14-16 with the return leg a week later.

Should they overcome Namibia, the Warriors would then face the winner between Lesotho and Comoros for a place at the CHAN tournament which reserved only for those players plying their trade in their national leagues.

Zimbabwe have been to every edition of the CHAN tournament since it’s inauguration in Cote d’Ivoire in 2009 with their best finish having been a fourth place under Ian Gorowa in Cape Town in 2014.

Article Source: The Herald