Mpan­dare clears the air

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

WELLINGTON MPAN­DARE, who has been the act­ing team man­ager of the War­riors in the past few months, has said he was not re­lieved of his post but, in­stead, asked to be ex­cused from the up­com­ing CECAFA Se­nior Chal­lenge Cup as­sign­ments be­cause of com­mit­ments else­where.

For­mer Young War­riors team man­ager, Pa­trick Mutesva, will be the War­riors team man­ager at the CECAFA Cup tour­na­ment in Kenya where Zim­babwe are par­tic­i­pat­ing as a guest na­tion.

Mpan­dare met ZIFA pres­i­dent Philip Chiyangwa in a lengthy meet­ing in the cap­i­tal yes­ter­day and told The Herald that re­ports sug­gest­ing he was fired from his post were not ac­cu­rate.

“I had a lengthy dis­cus­sion with the ZIFA pres­i­dent be­cause they are the ap­point­ing au­thor­ity and I had to dis­cuss a num­ber of is­sues with him given the so­cial me­dia blitz sug­gest­ing that I had been fired,’’ said Mpan­dare.

“I also needed to up­date him on the two matches that we played in Le­sotho and in Namibia in which some new play­ers from Bri­tain were drafted into the side.

“As the one who was the man­ager dur­ing that tour of duty, the play­ers have been giv­ing me feed­back about their ex­pe­ri­ence and such in­for­ma­tion also has to be passed to the mother body.

“I have to make it clear that I was never in the frame for the CECAFA Cup matches be­cause of the com­mit­ments I have out­side the coun­try, at around the time the tour­na­ment will be held, on min­istry busi­ness.

“I will be en­gaged with PHD (Prophetic Heal­ing and De­liv­er­ance Min­istry) busi­ness out­side the coun­try at the same time the War­riors will be in Kenya and I could not be in two places at one time.’’ Mpan­dare, who is the Yadah Stars con­sul­tant, said while he was com­mit­ted to serve his coun­try as part of the War­riors set-up, there are times when his work at the min­istry has to come first and can­not be sac­ri­ficed.

“Re­mem­ber that I am at Yadah Stars full-time and the na­tional team job is part-time and a num­ber of coaches who have their jobs at lo­cal clubs have also been do­ing some part-time work for the War­riors,’’ said Mpan­dare.

“These coaches, just like me, first have to get clear­ance from their em­ploy­ers and where it is fea­si­ble they have availed them­selves for the ser­vice to their coun­try and we have seen some great im­prove­ments, in­clud­ing our good start in the AFCON 2019 cam­paign and our suc­cess in the COSAFA Cas­tle Cup.

“But, if you re­call well, even the ZIFA vice-pres­i­dent (Omega Sibanda) told the na­tion re­cently that Nor­man Mapeza, who coached the War­riors in their first AFCON qual­i­fier against Liberia which we won 3-0, asked ZIFA to be ex­cused from con­sid­er­a­tion from na­tional duty for now.

“Clearly, his fo­cus right now is to try and make sure that he ful­fils his mis­sion to try and win the league cham­pi­onship with FC Plat­inum be­cause he is con­tracted to them as their em­ployee even though he has availed him­self for ser­vice for his coun­try in the past.

“That is the same ar­range­ment with me and re­ports that I have been fired are not true but are meant to em­bar­rass my rep­u­ta­tion when the truth is that I have asked to be ex­cused for now.’’

Wellington Mpan­dare

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