Cloud Fusire, Harare Bureau
FOOTBALL legend David “Yogi” Mandigora said Zifa should not hire a foreign coach to succeed Sunday Chidzambwa until they have the financial capacity to do so.
The Warriors’ coaching job became vacant after the departure of the country’s most successful gaffer, Chidzambwa, who resigned last week.
Rahman Gumbo is the stand-in Warriors’ coach while Zifa are believed to be negotiating with Belgian coach, Jean-Francois Losciuto, to take over the hot seat.
But former Dynamos midfield general, Mandigora, said Zifa should not be too ambitious but work within their financial capacity.
Mandigora said the recent Afcon finals, where the association had issues with players over payments, showed that Zifa did not have the financial muscle to bankroll the requirements of a foreign coach.
The 1980 Soccer Star of the Year award winner said he fears the country could be banned for the second time, from participating at the World Cup, if Zifa failed to pay the foreign coach they would have hired.
“We all need to see a transformation in our national team. We have quality players around the world who only need good technical staff to achieve great things,” said Mandigora.
“But, in our quest to have a better coach to fill the vacant post, I do not think we are ready and capable of having the services of a foreign coach unless Zifa changes how it deals with its employees.
“Last time, we were banned from participating in the 2018 World Cup in Russia after we had failed to pay Brazilian coach, Valinhos.
“I know it’s a difficult pill to swallow for many people but if we do not have money, as we witnessed earlier at the Afcon finals in Egypt where there was a stand-off between the association and the players, then we are headed for another disaster.
“Let’s go for the local coaches who, l believe in most cases, understand our situation and sometimes we reach some compromises for the sake of our nation, but not with a foreign coach.
“As long we do not have a principal sponsor who will meet our financial demands, we just have to swallow our pride and go for what we can afford.
“We can’t risk the future of our sport only because we want to match our opponents but at the end we can’t meet our financial obligations.”
Meanwhile, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says that every player has a price after Zimbabwean striker Khama Billiat was linked with a return to Chloorkop.
“I should be very careful on this issue. I need to respect Kaizer Chiefs, it’s a big institution, and the league will fine me,” Mosimane told KickOff.
“If they complain to the league, they will fine me for poaching their players. We need to respect that.
“If we want Khama, what do we need to do? We speak to Kaizer Chiefs, club to club…you know the story. And then they will tell us ‘we are selling, we are not selling’.
“Sometimes you don’t sell, even [Lionel] Messi has got a price, let’s be honest. I think if somebody comes and says they are giving me $1 million net a month, I think we are done.
“Everybody has a price. Even my players have a price. We can say that we don’t have a price, but everybody has.
“But I can’t talk about it because he belongs to Kaizer Chiefs. If we want to talk, we will to Kaizer Chiefs. We need to give them respect.”
Reports suggest Chiefs had already turned down an offer of R15 million from Al Ahly, but Amakhosi coach Ernst Middendorp has rubbished the claims.
“I was never approached with any offer or whatsoever. And there’s no way to give the go-ahead from the technical team in the moment to release players like Khama Billiat or other players,” declared Middendorp.