Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS run the risk of playing Sunday’s Castle Lager Premier Soccer League game against Harare City at Barbourfields Stadium with only a goalkeepers’ coach on the technical bench if interim coach Joel Luphahla does not get another waiver to lead the dugout.
Luphahla has no Caf A coaching badge as required by Fifa club licensing for a coach to lead the technical staff of topflight league teams on match days.
Zifa only granted Luphahla a special waiver for last Saturday’s league match against ZPC Kariba at Nyamhunga Stadium, but warned that he will not be allowed to sit on the bench on Sunday.
However, with the PSL heading into a two-week break after this weekend’s matches, Zifa might have a change of heart and allow Luphahla to again bark instructions from the bench, giving Highlanders enough time to tie up loose ends with the coach they have settled for.
According to sources, Bosso have settled for Mexican Javier Martinez Espinosa. Should this be true, he too can’t sit on the team bench on Sunday, as he will first require a work permit.
Highlanders reportedly hired Daniel Khumalo as their new goalkeepers’ coach last week. Khumalo travelled with the team to Kariba for last Saturday’s goalless draw and Bosso have not officially announced his appointment, as they want to unveil him with the new head coach.
Khumalo was formerly with Bulawayo City and FC Platinum. He left FC Platinum together with assistant coach Lizwe Sweswe at the request of Dutchman Pieter de Jongh, who wanted to bring in his own backroom staff in October 2020.
Khumalo went on to join City and left at the recommendation of then head coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube, who was reportedly not happy with his coaching methods.
Whether or not Bosso have a plan in place to prevent the looming scenario will be clarified at today’s traditional pre-match media briefing.
Club chief executive officer Ronald Moyo has to spell out if they have a special arrangement for a qualified coach to sit on the bench or they have persuaded Zifa to give Luphahla a second dance.
Whatever the case may be, it is clear that the Bosso executive had no concrete plan when they fired head coach Mandla Mpofu, his assistant Bekithemba Ndlovu and goalkeepers’ coach Julius Ndlovu.
The club only started the process of hunting for a substantive coach after firing the trio despite constantly reassuring its members and fans that everything was under control. – @innocentskizoe