9 February 2017
FORMER Rwanda technical director Pieter De Jongh is set to be one of the candidates that will apply for the Warriors job if Zifa manages to settle their expected separation with Kalisto Pasuwa.
H-Metro understands the Dutch coach is one of many foreign coaches that were impressed by the Warriors’ potential at the 2017 AFCON finals and are monitoring the situation in Zimbabwe.
Locally De Jongh is represented by Denford Mutashu, the same agent that brought fellow Dutch coach Erol Akbay to Highlanders.
Mutashu admitted that he represents the coach’s interests but was not in a position to comment while Zifa said they had not advertised for the Warriors job as yet.
“I’m not aware of any such applications for the position of coach. We have not advertised for such a position. Should there be anything concerning that in future, we will issue a statement as the norm,” said Zifa spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela.
Mutashu said: “I represent the interests of the coach but I must say it is too premature to say anything in relationship to the Warriors.”
However, barring any last minute changes, the Dutchman, who has also coached AFC Leopards of Kenya, will be one of the coaches that will apply for the Warriors job.
“He is very much interested in the job and chances are high he will go for it in the coming weeks. That ofcourse is depended on the association settling their issues with Pasuwa. It is very natural because Zimbabwe entered the spotlight at AFCON,” said a source.
At the moment the association is engrossed with Pasuwa’s outstanding salaries and compensation issues.
The Warriors coach has since insisted that he will not be reigning from the position as there is still another one year on his contract.
As things stand, there is no legal basis to fire the coach as he managed to meet the minimum demands of the contract – qualification for Gabon.
Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa has been quoted as saying he is waiting for Pasuwa’s resignation, a position analysts say is a way to try and avoid compensating the coach.
By the time the saga is closed, the association is expected to have received numerous applications for the job with indications yesterday that many enquiries have been made.
Two unnamed coaches from Italy and Saudi Arabia are also expected to put forward their applications.
The developments come at a time when Zifa president Omega Sibanda has ruled out Sunday Chidzambwa, Moses Chunga, Rahman Gumbo and Taurai Mangwiro for the job.
Omega said it will be improper for any of the HPC members are to be considered as it will be “tantamount to creating a vacancy for themselves”.
“It will be unprofessional on our part if one of the members of the high performance committee are to be considered for the position,” said Omega.
Such a position means the association will be left with few options locally while the idea of foreign coaches has been shot down by some observers.
“The issue of a foreign coach is very problematic. You must understand that the problems related to foreign coaches is why we missed out on the current World Cup qualifiers and almost missed out on the next.
“What guarantee is there that if Zifa cannot be upto date with Pasuwa’s salaries when they are about to terminate his contract, they will be able to pay a foreign coach who could even cost more,” said a PSL club official that requested anonymity.