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Baltemar Brito with Jose Mourinho in their Chelsea days.


So many questions over Baltemar Brito’s Zimbabwe appointment




WHILE it is the normalisation committee’s prerogative to appoint the Warriors coach, stakeholders are entitled to an opinion.

Legitimate questions are: was Jose Murinho’s former assistant coach the candidate Zimbabwe can appoint? What is the objective in the forthcoming World Cup qualification campaign as well as the CHAN? What happens when the interim appointment lapses?

Whether he is the best candidate is subjective in our polarised and opinionated Zimbabwean football circles.

Ordinarily one presumes the nation is competing to win the CHAN and qualify for the World Cup finals. Is Brito a winning coach at national team level, has he coached and qualified a national team to a major tournament anywhere in the world?

Does he understand African football as well as locally-based players and Zimbabwean players in the diaspora? Does he have institutional memory, which his greenhorn assistants Bongani Mafu and Genesis Mangombe lack as well? Who will fill that void?

Brazil-born Brito’s appointment seems to have been based more on his current status at Highlanders, where he guided the Zimbabwean giants to a 19-match unbeaten run and could well guide the country’s oldest club to their first league title since 2006.

Certainly this seems to be the chief reason Zifa’s temporary committee chose the 71-yrar-old expat because his only other claim to fame is having worked under Mourinho and well as his personal relationship with the Special One.

Even though, Brito’s last four results in charge of Tshilamoya do not look good for a coach searching for a maiden title as a head coach.

I thought it would have been best to outsource the Warriors job to a full-time club coach who will be part time for the Warriors. Because, in a very short period, Brito will need to adjust quickly to the harsh realities of African football. A mammoth task.

Another big question: Condidering Brito’s willingness to jettison Highlanders at the slightest hint of an opportunity elsewhere, will he not do the same to the Warriors?

Zimbabwean coaches like Sunday Chidzwambwa, Charles Mhlauri, Moses Chunga, Joey Antipas, Morman Mapeza, Callisto Pasuwa and Kaitano Tembo were all overlooked – notwithstanding that some of them did not apply for the post.

But they could have been man-hunted, a common human resources recruitment practice. All these local coaches are tried, tested and have delivered at local, African club football and Warriors level.

If it was a decorated foreign coach we wanted, why not headhunt Harve Reinhard, a serial Africa Cup of Nations winner, a proven smooth operator in the jungles of African football.

This appointment highlights a bigger problem with the NC. The committee was appointed by Fifa and is accountable to the world football governing body, not to local stakeholders. The committee has rendered the Zifa secretariat irrelevant. The NC has not appointed key sub-committees to run football, for example the technical committee that should have recruited the Warriors coach.

These sub-committees are necessary in complementing the Warriors campaign.

While not prejudging and being pessimistic, the Warriors’ return to the international fold following Fifa readmission has gotten off to a bad start with the manner this appointment has been handled. Time will tell.

*Vincent Maruza, a NewsHawks contributor, is a Harare-based freelance writer.