Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
YADAH FC owner Walter Magaya has courted the fury of Zifa and coaches associations for sending a “coach-less” side for a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match in which they were battered 2-7 by Bantu Rovers.
Magaya suspended his team’s technical staff following a 1-0 loss to Dynamos, alleging that head coach Jairos Tapera had defied his directive to field certain players.
Tapera is said to have made changes to the squad given to him by Magaya for the Chapungu game, claiming to have received a dream and they went on to draw 1-1 with the Gweru side.
Leaders of the country’s two coaching bodies, the Soccer Coaches Union of Zimbabwe (SCUZ) and Zimbabwe Coaches Association (ZISCA), said Yadah FC’s seven-goal humiliation served Magaya and like-minded club administrators and sponsors right.
SCUZ secretary-general Newsome Mutema said by sending a team without its technical staff, Magaya had reduced the Premiership to a “boozers’ league”.
“Club owners must respect coaches. Just because a person loves the game and funds a team doesn’t mean what they see from the terraces is the same as leading a side. That result (7-2 drubbing) is a good message to Yadah and like-minded sponsors and executives that interfere in team selection.
“Coaches are important and when Zifa set up that standardisation process, it wanted to have the most qualified personnel so that they maintain the quality and competitiveness of the topflight league.
“What Yadah did was to take a boozers’ approach to a topflight match and because they didn’t have technical expertise, they were humiliated. People must understand that football is now scientific and issues to do with psyching of players in the build-up to a match as well as coming up with right combinations or drills is key to the success of a team,” said Mutema.
Magaya told our sister paper The Herald that he took full responsibility for the events in Bulawayo and argued that it had nothing to do with the absence of his coaching staff to direct operations on the day of the massacre, but it was all “spiritual”.
However, the coaches believe the absence of the entire technical team affected the team’s performance.
The loss to Bantu Rovers left Yadah glued to ninth position on the league table with nine points after seven games, while Rovers moved a place up the ladder from 17th to 16th.
“Training methods and coming up with a game plan or tactics for a match are key to the outcome of a game.
“What we witnessed on Saturday is that there is little separating coaches because most results were close, except for the Bantu Rovers and Yadah FC game. The 7-2 win by Bantu Rovers tells you that you can’t substitute a coach,” said ZISCA chairman Bhekimpilo Nyoni.
“There is need to separate the roles of a sponsor and that of a coach. A coach should do his work without any interference and be judged on results.
“We want coaches who, besides training the team, help players develop into complete footballers. Considering that he (Magaya) doesn’t have the right qualifications to coach, the team was bound to perform badly and Bantu Rovers capitalised on the absence of a strong bench,” Nyoni said.
Zifa has threatened to take action against Yadah for deliberately breaching club licensing provisions by engaging in their previous league assignment without qualified technical personnel.
“The absence of a qualified technical team during a professional league match makes a mockery of topflight football in Zimbabwe. Zifa will not stand by and watch Yadah Stars FC dragging football into the abyss. Zifa will take corrective measures to deal with this presumptuous disregard of club licensing dictates.
“The association has ordered Yadah Stars FC management to put their house in order and ensure that they have fully qualified personnel manning their technical bench in their next league assignment, as per club licensing requirements.
“Zifa also reiterates that it is not backing down on the standardisation of coaches’ qualifications since it is a directive taken in compliance with Fifa and Caf club licensing dictates.
“This and other club licensing requirements will be gradually implemented for the continued development of local football,” said Zifa communications and club licensing manager Xolisani Gwesela in a statement yesterday.
PSL Match Day Seven Results
Saturday: ZPC Kariba 2-0 Bulawayo City, Tsholotsho FC 0-1 Harare City, Ngezi Platinum 1-0 Shabanie Mine, Chapungu 0-0 Highlanders, Bantu Rovers 7-2 Yadah FC.
Sunday: Chicken Inn 0-1 How Mine, FC Platinum 1-0 Hwange, Triangle United 1-1 Black Rhinos.
Postponed: Dynamos v Caps United (TBA).