Coaches cry foul, Zifa steadfast Gift Banda

Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter

A SECTION of local football gaffers feel the move to implement standardisation of coaches is mistimed since no Caf coaching clinics have been held since 2017, but Zifa are unwavering saying they will apply club licensing.

A Caf club licensing document headlined “head coach of the first squad” has been circulated widely on social media platforms, with football enthusiasts, including coaches analysing the blueprint which they feel exonerates their cause.

According to the document, “The head coach must fulfil one of the following requirements:

“a) hold the highest available coaching licence of the member association of the territory on which the licence applicant is situated or any valid foreign diploma which is equivalent to this one and recognised by Caf as such;

“b) start the required education course recognised by the member association to achieve the required diploma;

“c) hold a ‘recognition of competence’ issued by the member association if the head coach has a minimum of five years’ practical experience as head coach in any top or 2nd division club. The head coach must be duly registered with the member association or league.”

It is against this background information that the coaches believe they have a case to stop full implementation of the club licensing that Zifa partially applied in 2017 when a congress resolution was made that only Caf A licence holders should take charge of Premiership teams. The congress also agreed that only Caf A coaches should be assistants.

Zifa president Gift Banda told Chronicle Sports yesterday that they are going ahead with club licensing and will proceed with fully implementing standardisation of coaches without sparing any “sacred cows.”

“It’s surprising that there are people crying foul but implementation of congress resolutions are not a Banda thing but that of the Zifa members. The partial implementation of club licensing is one of the things that has caused retrogression in our football and as assigned by the congress to steady the ship, we want to correct the wrongs that have been happening so that whoever comes in, finds things in order.

“Club licensing will be implemented to the fullest, based on the provisions available. I wonder why people are crying foul when there are guiding documents to follow. This is why we are saying there won’t be favours and we stand guided by congress resolutions and regulations,” said Banda.

Zifa is aware of the clause that speaks about a coach with proven competence for five years getting reprieve.

The association says days of soft and partial application of standardisation are over and are taking the hard route after noticing that a few gaffers were making initiatives to capacitate themselves outside the country.

Last month, former Bulawayo Chiefs assistant coach Thulani Sibanda enrolled for a Caf A coaching course in Zanzibar.

Former Bulawayo Chiefs Coach Thulani Sibanda

“We’ve to start somewhere and there are roadmaps for implementation of club licensing that will be set. If you recall, Fifa first adopted club licensing regulations in October 2007 and Caf approved the continental club licensing regulations in January 2012. Zifa started implementation of club licensing in 2017 and we were not in office. We’re simply implementing what hasn’t been happening and there were so many wrongs with clubs deliberately flouting resolutions.

“Engagements will be done as we continue cleaning our football and unfortunately, we can’t reverse or further put on hold implementation of reforms meant to make our football better,” said Banda.

He declined to comment on individuals that have previously been granted exemptions, saying: “There are guiding principles that are followed and football people (clubs) are privy to those and they simply have to do the right thing. The secretariat is there to assist if people approach the office.” — @ZililoR

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