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ZIFA set to announce Warriors coach in 2 weeks time

The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) Normalisation Committee says it will announce a new Warriors coach in the next two weeks.

The new coach will have only two weeks to prepare for Zimbabwe’s 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Lesotho in South Africa on June 7.

The Warriors will then take on South Africa in the same qualifiers on June 11.

The Sunday Mail reported ZIFA chief executive officer Yvonne Mapika-Manwa as saying the process to select the Warriors coach is underway. She said:

The evaluation of the applicants is already underway, with a shortlist of the best-placed applicants set to be drawn up, from which the most suitable candidate for the post will be selected. We expect to complete the entire process in the next two weeks.

According to ZIFA, 139 non-Zimbabwean coaches applied, with only 12 being Zimbabwean.

Former Highlanders coach Baltemar Brito, African Cup of Nations winner Winfred Schaffer, and Christopher Gamel of France are some of the foreigners who have applied for the job.

Former Liverpool and Warriors keeper Bruce Grobbelaar, Taurai Mangwiro, and Saul Chaminuka are some of the Zimbabwean coaches on the list of applicants.

However, the likes of Sunday Chidzambwa, Joey Antipas, Kalisto Pasuwa, Norman Mapeza, Kaitano Tembo and Rodwell Dhlakama did not apply.

Football analysts have criticised ZIFA for delaying the appointment of the Warriors coach, saying the new coach will not have enough time to evaluate the players to understand the players’ strengths and weaknesses.

Given that foreign-based players have to be invited at least three weeks before a match, the new coach will have to work with players selected by a technical committee that will be headed by ZIFA technical director Jethro Hunidzarira.

The Warriors are in Group C of the 2026 CAF World Cup qualifiers, alongside South Africa, Benin, Rwanda, Nigeria and Lesotho.

Rwanda top the group after two rounds of fixtures with four points, one ahead of South Africa.

Nigeria, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe are tied on two points, while Benin are bottom of the table with a single point.

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