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Paying the price for another horrific Zifa decision



CLEARLY, Valinhos did not teach us a lesson. If you want to know what exactly makes this man one of the worst-ever appointments for the post of Zimbabwe’s football coach, let me put it into perspective for you.

Today, José Georgini – his real name – sits somewhere in his native Brazil at the advanced age of 73, jobless since 2008 when he was sacked by Zimbabwe after a poor run of results, one of the worst in the history of the Warriors.

For a thankless job like coaching, has it not always seemed rather weird to you that these men – ever with an axe hanging over their heads – rarely are out of employment? Fired from a job today, offered another tomorrow.

It speaks volumes, therefore, that for 13 years nobody – apart from a very brief spell at South African club Free State Stars – has knocked at Valinhos’ door with an offer since Zimbabwe put him on the next plane home in 2008.

Come to think of it, this is the coach whose outstanding debut of US$81 000 caused Zimbabwe’s expulsion from the 2018 World Cup qualification competition.

A decent pack of Zimbabwean players were denied the opportunity of perhaps the country’s best shot at World Cup qualification in a very long time, because of payment owed to a coach that never should have been in the job in the first place.

The collective national humiliation of disqualification aside, do not discount the money involved. Of course, the compensation that had to be paid to Valinhos, US$81 000 for nine months of a disastrous spell, is not unworthy of consideration.

13 years later, we are back to square one, left weighed down by a cost not worth paying. If emerging reports this week about Zdravko Logarušić (pictured) are anything to go by, we ought to be kicking ourselves once again.

Following his sacking as Zimbabwe’s coach this week, the Croatian gaffer is due for a payment of US$90 000 in compensation, lest we face another Valinhos situation. The sheer lack of logic by different generations of our national football administrators is a source of great puzzle.

It is incredible: from a fairly successful local coach to a fairly impressive interim local coach, and then an expensive expatriate with a chequered CV, fresh from being fired by Sudan, of all footballing countries. The impediment to our progress is an unwillingness to learn from mistakes.

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