Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE 2019 Zifa Southern Region Division One Soccer League runners-up FC Talen Vision have “suspended” coach Mkhuphali Masuku for failing to attend an emergency meeting called by the club.
Masuku led Vision to their best finish in the first division, ending the season second to champions Bulawayo City, in what was a two-team Southern Region race.
The former national team assistant coach, ex-Highlanders, Caps United and Harare City gaffer missed three days of training, with Mark Mathe, who also had coaching stints with Caps United, Highlanders and Harare City, taking charge of Vision’s training sessions.
“Our preparations are going on well, and we are going to have two first division teams, one in the Central Region and the other in the Southern Region. We are yet to decide who will coach which team between Mathe and Masuku. The two have been taking charge of the two teams. For example, say when there is a team training in the morning, Masuku will be the head with Mathe assisting. For the side that will train in the afternoon, it will be the other way round.
“Today Masuku is not in and Mathe is taking charge of the team. Masuku is attending to other commitments. It’s not true that technical changes have been made,” said Juma Phiri, Vision’s acting spokesperson.
However, sources said Masuku missed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday’s training after being asked to stop attending the sessions.
“Coach Cooper (Masuku) was asked not to come and we’re training under Mathe. From the corridors, it seems his failure to attend an urgent meeting recently has cost him the job. The other thing, remember that last season the club brought in Mathe to be on standby after that ZPC Hwange match-fixing scandal and it became worse for Masuku when he lost to Bulawayo City. No one knows when his suspension will be lifted,” said the source.
It appears the axe has finally fallen on Masuku who survived a planned ouster last year after losing 1-0 to Bulawayo City.
In a leaked audio from last season, Phiri was overheard telling Zifa Southern Region administrator Augustine Ndlovu that the team’s director had lost faith in Masuku and wanted to register another coach. Ndlovu is heard on the audio saying unlike players who can only be registered during the transfer windows, Vision can register a coach anytime of the season.
Vision are among the 2020 Southern Region Division One Soccer League favourites alongside Hwange, ZPC Hwange and Mosi Rovers.