Eddie Chikamhi Harare Bureau
ZIFA will from this year be strict with the standard requirements for football coaches at all levels after announcing this week they have raised the bar to permit only those with Caf A Licence to sit on the Premiership bench as part of a cocktail of interventions to improve the quality of the game in Zimbabwe. The association’s technical director Maxwell Takaendesa Jongwe yesterday said the move is a basic requirement under the Caf Club Licensing system.
He said for one to be head coach in the Premier Soccer League, they have to be holders of the Caf A Licence while assistant coaches should have Caf B or Caf C. Goalkeepers’ coaches in the Premier Soccer League are now required to have a Caf C Licence and a goalkeeper coaching certificate.
Jongwe said coaches should have Caf A Licence or better to be considered for national teams from the juniors up to the senior Warriors and the Mighty Warriors. The Zifa technical director said Zimbabwe were lagging behind in terms of implementing the standardisation process in the coaching units.
“This is a Caf requirement, in line with the Club Licensing. Those that attended the Caf Club Licensing workshop this week are quite aware of what we’re talking about.
“In many African countries like Zambia and even Rwanda you can’t be the head coach without the Caf A Licence. We’ve known about the Caf Licensing for many years and as a country we were lagging behind in terms of implementation.
“We accelerated the courses in the last three years and the responses have been overwhelming. This year we’re looking to have more courses by holding three Caf Cs, one Caf A and two Caf B courses,” said Jongwe.
Until last year, the PSL had set the minimum requirement for head coaches at Caf C Licence while the coaches took the opportunity to upgrade their qualifications. Jongwe said Zimbabwe have trained many coaches in the last three years and the authorities will not compromise on the standards.
“What it means is that all coaches will be required to have Caf A Licence for them to be allowed to be head coach in the Premiership or at any level in the national teams. The majority of the coaches in the Premiership, I believe, meet the requirement.
“However, we’ve said for this year those with Caf B and waiting to study for their Caf A Licence may get a special dispensation to be head coaches. “Those guys have made the effort to enrol for the courses even before they were even made a prerequisite because they realised the value. “We’ve close to 50 coaches with the Caf A Licence in Zimbabwe and only 16 Premiership teams,” said Jongwe.
Zifa have to date trained 41 Caf A Licence holders, 114 Caf B, 166 Caf C and an estimated 4,000 men from Level One to Level Four. Three women hold the Caf B in Zimbabwe while two are qualified Caf C Licence coaches.
There are also over 200 women with Level One to Level Four certificates. Jongwe said Division One coaches should possess at least a Caf B Licence while a special waiver has been availed to those with Caf C and studying towards the higher qualification.
Zifa have also ordered that coaches in Division Two and Tertiary institutions should be Caf C Licence holders while Level One is now the minimum at Primary schools and Level Two for the secondary schools. He said it was important that Naph and Nash adhere to the requirements since they deal with raw talent which needs special care.
“Like in any profession, we need to have a standard qualification, hence coaches shouldn’t just be employed for the sake of being employed when they lack the fundamentals. “The decision to have qualified personnel in schools is because that’s where the player is made or destroyed.
“The coaches should have proper qualifications and at the end we’re assured of a quality product,” said Jongwe.