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Coaches protest, but Zifa stands firm!

A SECTION OF LOCAL FOOTBALL ADVISORS believe the attempt to standardize coaches is mistimed, given that no Caf coaching clinics have been held since 2017, yet Zifa has said unequivocally that club licensing would be implemented.

A Caf club license document titled “head coach of the first squad” has been extensively disseminated on social media platforms, with football fans, including coaches, analyzing the blueprint, which they believe vindicates their position.

“The head coach must fulfill one of the following qualifications,” according to the agreement.

“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.

“We’ve to start someplace and there are roadmaps for implementation of club licensing that will be defined. Fifa originally implemented club licensing restrictions in October 2007, and Caf approved continental club licensing standards in January 2012. Zifa began implementing club licensing in 2017, when we were not in power. We’re just doing what hasn’t been done, and there have been so many mistakes with clubs willfully flouting decisions.

“Engages will be made as we continue to clean our football, and sadly, we cannot reverse or postpone the adoption of reforms needed to improve our game,” Banda added.

He declined to comment on prior exclusions granted to individuals, 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.”

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