Sikhumbuzo Moyo Senior Sports Reporter
FISSURES in Bulawayo giants Highlanders’ technical team played out again in the quarter-final of the ZNA Charities Shield against Chicken Inn when technical director Cosmos “Tsano” Zulu publicly defied club committee member Wisdom Mabhena’s request for goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda to field questions from the media.
Sibanda propelled Bosso to the semi-finals of the ZNA Charities Shield with two penalty saves in a shootout after the game had deadlocked 1-1 after 90 minutes at Barbourfields Stadium.
Assistant coach Amini Soma-Phiri had given the media contingent the green light to talk to Sibanda, but Zulu overruled him. It is then that Mabhena intervened, but Zulu brushed him aside barking “No, no, I won’t (release Sibanda)”, before storming back into the dressing room.
Mabhena shook his head in disbelief and probably some embarrassment. The opaque technical set up at Bosso has been full of drama like a soap opera, with the club postponing the naming of the final 2016 squad due to squabbling between Zulu and Soma-Phiri.
The two declined to append their signatures to a 30-man squad approved by head coach Erol Akbay over the required Under-20 players as they have personal preferences and none is willing to compromise.
The Highlanders’ executive has asked Zulu and Soma-Phiri to settle their differences quickly, but judging by yesterday’s scenes outside the Highlanders’ dressing room, the fallout is flaring and probably calls for the executive to extinguish it before it spreads to the players.
Soma-Phiri has reportedly complained to the executive that he can’t work with Zulu due to his egoistic attitude.
When asked about the duo’s fallout yesterday, coach Akbay said: “No comment.”