The Chronicle

Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter

PREMIER Soccer League returnees and Southern Region Division One Soccer League champions Bulawayo City have applied to Zifa to have their coach Try Ncube allowed to lead the side in the topflight without the minimum qualification.

Ncube is a holder of a Caf B coaching badge which does not allow him to take charge of a Premiership team.

Jerry Sibanda, City chairman hopes that Ncube who was yesterday crowned Zifa Southern Region Division One Soccer League Coach of the Year will be cleared to lead the team on their second dance in the Premiership.

“We’re in a fix because our coaches are not Caf A licence holders and what we’ve done is to apply to Zifa to have the coach (Ncube) exempt while waiting to attend a Caf A licence clinic. We trust the motherbody will consider our request. We’ve done this early (writing to Zifa for Ncube’s clearance) as part of our plans for 2020. We don’t want to be found wanting and be on the panic mode when the season is about to start,” said Sibanda.

Former Chicken Inn, How Mine and Harare City coach Philani Ncube reportedly worked behind the scenes for City during their final title run and was spotted at a number of the club’s matches.

Sibanda declined to comment on Philani.

“We remain hopeful that our championship winning coach (Try Ncube) will be cleared. If Zifa turns down our request, we will take it from there,” Sibanda said.

Zifa implemented standardisation for local football coaching that requires all top-flight coaches to possess a Caf A licence at the beginning of the 2017 season.

Standardisation of coaches meant that Premiership gaffers and their trainers should be in possession of a Caf A badge, with a Caf B licence being a minimum requirement for First Division coaches. Division One assistant coaches are required to be holders of a Caf C or Zifa Level Four licence.

In the Second Division, a coach should have a Caf C licence while his understudies are required to have a Level Three qualification as a minimum standard.

The coaching standards also cascade down to Division Three, tertiary institutions and schools. For secondary schools, a Zifa Level Two badge is mandatory and primary school football coaches must have at least Level Two certificate.

A number of coaches in the Premiership were affected by standardisation and coaches who had won the Division One Soccer Leagues titles like Bulawayo Chiefs’ Thulani Sibanda could not assume the position of head coach and had to sit on the bench disguised as a fitness trainer or technical analyst.

Besides the Caf B badge, Sibanda is a holder of a Scottish C-Licence and a Sports Science degree from the National University of Science and Technology (Nust).

Bulawayo City were forced to take on Mandla Mpofu since their coach Try Ncube was a Caf B holder at the beginning of 2017 while Harare City had to reassign head coach Mkhuphali Masuku, a Caf B and high-level Scottish C licence holder as they sought to adhere to standardisation of coaches.

Zimbabwe last held a Caf A course in January 2017, a year that they implemented standardisation of coaches.

According to Zifa, the country has 75 Caf A trained coaches.

—@Zililo