Story by Lawrence Trusida, Sports Editor
THE Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has come under fire for demanding qualifications from local coaches without facilitating the necessary training courses in the past five years.
This comes after ZIFA announced that only coaches with a CAF A licence will take charge of Premier Soccer League teams.
With the last Confederation of African Football (CAF) A training course having been conducted in 2017, the Soccer Coaches Union is not happy with the local football mother body’s stance over what they have termed subjective enforcement of CAF club licensing regulations.
“It is a pity that the custodians of the game are champions in unfair labour practice, they have not been able to hold these courses for more than five years but they want the coaches to have it,” said Newsome Mutema, Soccer Coaches Union of Zimbabwe secretary general
“Also, there are a lot of areas where ZIFA itself is found wanting by the regulations, there are requirements they have decided to turn a blind eye to and decided just to focus on the coaches. We are not saying coaches should not have qualifications, but, there is a way to do it and exemptions are there based on previous achievements, that provision is there in the regulations.”
CAF introduced club licensing as a means of developing football on the continent but did not enforce a blanket on the operationalisation of the regulations.
Article 10.1 part 7(b)of the club licensing regulations states that: “the head coach of the first squad must hold a recognition of competence if the head coach has a minimum of five years’ practical experience as head coach in any top or second division club if they do not have the highest qualification offered by that country.”
However, ZIFA seems to be turning a blind eye to that clause, a situation that puts a lot of clubs like Chicken Inn in a fix as their coach Joey Antipas could be affected.
While the Zimbabwe Football Association was not available for comment, a snap survey within the region shows that most countries require a CAF B license for a coach to take charge of a top-flight league team, while the assistants require lower qualifications.
Zambia which has been one of the successful countries in the region require a CAF B license for one to sit on the bench in the Super League, while a CAF C is required in the national first division.
In Malawi and Botswana, the situation is the same a CAF B license is the minimum qualification needed to coach a Super league team.
In South Africa however, the situation is different as there is no minimum requirement for coaches, with Morgan Mammila and Musa Nyatama having recently gone for CAF C courses.
All these regional countries are actively conducting CAF A courses but have not set it as the bar for coaches.
Meanwhile, there could be a reprieve for coaches as ZBC News has it on good authority that there are engagements between coaches and the football association.