21 March 2017

Zimbabwe: Norman Mapeza Appointed Warriors Coach

Photo: The Standard
Zimbabwe national soccer team, The Warriors.

ZIFA has appointed FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza as interim Warriors coach ahead of the international friendly against Zambia at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.

Zifa Communications manager Xolisani Gwesela confirmed the appointment of the unassuming FC Platinum gaffer.

"Norman Mapeza has been appointed interim coach for the Warriors. He He will take charge of the match against Zambia on Sunday and will choose his own assistants," said Gwesela.

Former Warriors mentor Sunday Chidzambwa, Joey "Mafero" Antipas, Caps United's Lloyd Chitembwe, Bruce Grobbelaar, Madinda Ndlovu and Rahman Gumbo had all been touted as possible candidates to take over.

But in the end it was Mapeza who landed the biggest post in Zimbabwean football.

Both teams will be using the match as a dress rehearsal for the upcoming 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifiers in June.

With the match falling on the Fifa calendar for international matches, both teams are set to call up their foreign contingent for the high profile friendly match.

The Warriors' who were the sole Cosafa representative at the Gabon tournament badly need this practice match as they ready for the June qualifiers.

Zimbabwe were drawn in Group G, together with the continent's sixth-ranked side DRC, Congo Brazzaville, ranked 17th, and Liberia (28th) in the qualifying draw conducted in Libreville, Gabon.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have already arranged a friendly match against Kenya to be played in Nairobi on March 23.

The soccer controlling body wanted to hire a foreign coach but lack of funding has forced them to look for local talent ahead of the CHAN and Afcon qualifiers.

Zifa decided against renewing Pasuwa's contract following the Warriors' failure to go beyond the group stage at the African Cup of Nations finals in Gabon.

Pasuwa's men put up a brave show in the opening match of the campaign against the Desert Foxes of Algeria whom they held to a 2-2 draw and with a bit of luck, they could have bagged maximum points.

They were however, defeated 2-0 by the Teranga Lions of Senegal in the next match before they were embarrassed 2-4 in the last group match by Tunisia.

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