By Tafadzwa Chigandiwa
The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has finally taken into consideration a huge plea made by the football fraternity in the past days to fire the outgoing Warriors head coach Zdravko Logarusic.
ZIFA Sunday officially announced that they have ended their marriage with the 57-year-old gaffer, Loga, since his appointment as the Warriors head coach in February 2020.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) would like to inform the football fraternity and the nation at large that it has amicably parted ways with Senior Men’s team coach Zdravko Logarusic.
“The decision was arrived at upon consideration by the full Executive Committee of all the various relevant circumstances pertaining to the coach’s contract,” ZIFA said in a statement.
ZIFA also revealed that Loga will be joined by the rest of his technical team which consisted of Tonderai Ndiraya and Lloyd Chitembwe together with recently appointed Benjani Mwaruwari. The three were also shown the exit door.
“The entire technical team has also been disbanded. The appointment of the interim technical team shall be announced in due course,” ZIFA added in their statement.
It barely took upto today (Sunday) evening for the ZIFA Executive Committe to decide the fate of the incompetent Logarusic.
The call for Loga’s ouster was amplified by ZIFA board member Sugar Chagonda who reportedly wrote an emotional letter to his boss Felton Kamambo, pleading that the coach be fired upon arrival from Ethiopia last week.
Chagonda’s move comes after the Warriors were humbled to a suprising last minute 1 nil defeat by the Walies of Ethiopia in Bahir Dar last Tuesday.
Since then the ZIFA board has reportedly had a couple of meetings in the past week only to come out with a final and unanimous decision on the Croat’s future.
Despite Chagonda’s call for Loga’s exit, the coach had already become unpopular to a number of supporters who were unanimously advocated that ZIFA should axe him without wasting anytime.
The former Sudanese national team coach (Loga) dismally failed to prove the point why ZIFA had imported and trusted him to coach the Warriors’ allegedly golden generation.
He had been considered by the other part of the Warriors’ stounge supporters as an expensive problem after it emerged that the coach was said to be earning a monthly salary of US$7 000.
Sparing some thoughts, since his arrival, the Croat has been nothing but a disappointment in the history of the senior national team football.
His coaching skills were characterised by questionable and clueless tactics, whilst his style of play was not even familiar to a number of the Warriors fans.
Under Loga’s watchful eye the Warriors only tested a single win in a total of 14 games they played these include the AFCON Qualifier matches, CHAN and COSAFA tournaments.
His shocking streak of poor results and under perfomance, is reportedly the catalyst why ZIFA’s supremo at last reached a consesus to replace the coach who was already under-fire.
Meanwhile, as Loga heads back to his native Croatia with only one win, who is his potential replacement?
Various fans’ request to ZIFA, particularly on social media platforms is to appoint a locally based coach to cut unnecessary costs.
Their other suggestion is to rope in a competent and suitable former Warriors player whom they believe his DNA will resemble with the team’s gold and green blood.
As it stands, that person is 47-year-old Benjani Mwaruwari. The former Warriors captain has ultimately became the people’s favourite to directly replace coach Loga.
However, apart from Mwaruwari another Warriors legend Bruce Grobbler has also been mentioned among the potential candidate to assume the position.
Furthermore, other notable names on the list being peddled around by fans on various social media platforms include Norman Mapeza and Calisto Pasuwa.
Charles Mhlawuri who once helped the Warriors to qualify to the AFCON finals in 2006 is also another big name that is being requested by the owners of the game.
And if ZIFA decides to land the much coveted job to either one of the previously three mentioned coaches, this could see the coaches having another dance with the national team once again.
Nevertheless, the biggest worry is that Mwaruwari cannot ascend to the head coach position.
Although he was recently appointed as the Warriors’ third assistant coach posing to be the people’s favourate to replace Loga after attaining his UEFA A course in Belfast, Ireland.
The Undertaker as he is popularly known is still not qualified to seat on the bench as a national team head coach.
The reason is that his UEFA A badge does not meet the continental’s football governing body, Confederation of African Football (CAF) required qualifications for one to become a national team coach on the continent.
According to CAF one has to be a holder of the CAF A or UEFA Pro badge to be permitted to coach any national team on the continent.
Therefore, the 42-year-old former Warriors and Portsmouth striker’s UEFA A only enables him to work as a head coach for top amateur teams.
Through the same qualification, he may also work as a member of the coaching staff at any proffessional level or work closely with the coaching and support staff in clubs and national teams.
So at the moment Loga’s predecessor will remain not known until ZIFA announce one in due course.
“The appointment of the interim technical team shall be announced in due course as the Executive Committe has already set in motion the process,” further reads the ZIFA statement.
Zimbabwe will play Ghana in the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifier matches next month.
The back to back games are scheduled for 6 and 10 October, 2021.
The Warriors will firstly travel to Ghana before they host te fading African giants three days after.
Mwaruwari unqualified, who will replace Loga?