Zimbabwe: Zifa Defend Loga's 'Holiday' Arrangement

ZIFA have said they have no problem with Warriors coach, Zdravko Logarusic, having an extended holiday in his homeland in Croatia.

The association insisted they are satisfied with the way the gaffer is discharging his duties.

Loga has spent about five months, holed up in Croatia, which represents almost a third of the 16 months he has spent in charge of the senior national team.

The gaffer is still in his home country, where he has been staying, since leaving Zimbabwe just after the final 2021 AFCON qualifier against Zambia, in March this year.

His decision to leave, immediately after the match, meant there wasn't even a chance for the coach to review the defeat at the hands of Chipolopolo, with his players.

Yesterday, The Herald published an article questioning the arrangement, after new Bafana Bafana coach, Hugo Broos, arrived in South Africa, to start preparing for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Bafana Bafana's first match, in their quest to qualify for the global football festival in Qatar, next year, is against the Warriors, in September.

Loga had planned to return to Zimbabwe, last week, to prepare the Warriors for the Battle of Limpopo, which had been scheduled for the first week of next month.

However, CAF postponed the fixtures to September, as a number of countries have been battling to get their stadiums into a condition where they can be allowed, to play their World Cup qualifiers, at home.

This newspaper also noted that Serbian coach, Milutin "Micho" Sredojevic, has been holed up in Zambia, where he is trying to help Chipolopolo qualify for their first World Cup finals.

While the domestic football programme is yet to resume, the argument was that Loga could have spent his time traveling to South Africa, where the majority of his players are based, to monitor them, and also exchange notes with their club coaches.

However, ZIFA were not amused by the article, which questioned whether Loga was now working by remote control, and accused The Herald of peddling some "misconceptions."

The country's football governing body said they had no problem with Loga's strange arrangement where he can continue to enjoy his holiday, in his home country, while getting paid for his role as Warriors coach.

"The Zimbabwe Football Association as noted misconceptions being peddled by The Herald regarding the absence of Warriors Coach Zdravko Logarusic who is in his home country of Croatia," ZIFA spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela, said in a statement.

"Such misapprehensions are published in today's (yesterday's) edition of The Herald under the headline, 'Is Loga working by remote control?'

"ZIFA would like to state that Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic is always doing his job no matter his geographical location.

"In the digital age, he has all the tools he needs to track and monitor all players in his plans.

"While he is in Europe, other members of his technical team are always on the ground monitoring locally-based players and those in leagues on the continent.

"The Association has no qualms with the coach spending some time, with his family briefly, while he also continues to work from Croatia.

"The media and the public alike have no reason whatsoever to worry about Logarusic's time in Croatia because all his work is going on as per his agreement with ZIFA."

The association said the absence of league football, in the country, meant Loga was justified to spend a lot of his time in his home country, even though, usually, very few home-based players are drafted for assignments like the Nations Cup qualifiers.

"It is undeniable veracity that there is no meaningful activity now and the Association has taken a noble decision to save the scarce financial resources by having the coach in his native country," Gwesela said in his statement.

"The coach will be coming as soon as local league resumes.

"It is also imperative to emphasise that even if Loga is here in Zimbabwe the bulk of his players are in Europe and other leagues and very few of them are local based players.

"The coach has been doing splendid work by following up and assessing these players and ZIFA is impressed by the coach's work.

"While we respect the opinion of The Herald, ZIFA once again calls on for a unity of purpose and we appeal to the media to support the Association in order to produce indefatigable and excelling national teams."

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