Let’s go vernacular: Chunga. . .courses should be in local languages
Senior Sports Reporter
LEGENDARY gaffer, Moses ‘Bambo’ Chunga has called on ZIFA to have the coaches’ curriculum in vernacular, allow Premiership players to undertake CAF A Coaching Licence course upon retirement as well as significantly reduce the enrolment fees among other affirmative action programmes aimed at making the highest coaching qualification on the domestic scene accessible to many. Coaching qualifications have been a subject of contention in the domestic Premiership this year as the country’s football controlling body is implementing the FIFA Club Licensing System that stipulates certain professional qualifications for different leagues.
Two Castle Lager Premiership clubs – Shabanie Mine and Harare City – have had to make last minutes changes to their technical departments after their preferred heads of technical departments failed to meet the required CAF A Coaching Licence for a top-flight league outfit.
Former Mutare City Rovers mentor, Taku Shariwa, who had landed a coaching job at the asbestos miners of Zvishavane was forced off the bench since he is a CAF B Coaching Licence holder, while Harare City went through the same ordeal as their preferred coach, Mkhupali ‘Mr Cooper’ Masuku also fell short of the requisite qualifications.
In a wide-ranging interview with Chunga, who is also the Soccer Coaches Union of Zimbabwe (SCUZ) president, said ZIFA must have the coaches’ curriculum in vernacular, allow Premiership players to undertake CAF A Coaching Licence course upon retirement as well as significantly reduce the enrolment fees.
Chunga blamed an individual (name withheld) during his reign as ZIFA technical director for creating bottlenecks in football coaching that resulted in a few attaining higher coaching qualifications.
“I think this is a problem (failure attain CAF A licence Coaching Licence) that was created by an individual during his reign as ZIFA technical director. I would not want to point out names because people are quick to say Chunga is at it again even when I talk sense. The issue is that we had an individual who wanted to be seen as a demi-god and did not want these qualifications to be accessible to many.
“This is the reason you would have him vote for the World Player of the Year as a ZIFA technical director, as the national team captain and as a national team captain. One wonders why one would want to play all those roles as an individual. By now we are supposed to have had more than 100 CAF A Coaching Licence holders in the country.
“It is my opinion that we should take a cue from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. Put all the coaching courses in vernacular for everyone to understand. That will not be peculiar to Zimbabwe, go to Asia or any of those Arab countries, or even Belgium, France, Holland, Germany they learn these courses in their own languages,” he said.
The celebrated former national team and Dynamos player, said the system must make coaching courses accessible to those who may have not done well in school, but have the talent to assemble and lead a team.
“We may end up having coaches that are every fluent in English and appearing intelligent, but cannot coach a successful club. What help does that give us?
“The thing is we have doctors, teachers and even journalists wanting to be Premiership club coaches, neglecting their own professions. They forget that coaching in itself is a calling. There are talented coaches who might be unfortunate to have not been able to master the Queen’s language in school, but they have the pedigree to assemble and lead good teams at the highest level. Why not give them a chance in their God given profession?” he said.
Chunga bemoaned the high costs of ZIFA coaching courses for prospective participants as well as the stages that former Premiership players have to go through to attain the highest level of coaching qualifications.
“It is sad that prospective coaches have to fork out a fortune to undertake coaching courses, yet we all know and understand the state of our economy at the moment.
“These are the things we are in the process of engaging ZIFA to review. It is also regrettable that we have FIFA and CAF provisions that allow former Premiership players to undertake coaching courses at a higher level as compared to their colleagues who never played football at all, but somehow the individual who served as technical director did not want these provisions applied here in Zimbabwe because he wanted to remain a godfather in the field.
“FIFA and CAF recognise that former top-flight league players in a country, who played for a number of years in the Premiership, can easily undertake coaching courses at a higher level. Do you think Thiery Henry had to undergo elementary football coaching courses after playing for Arsenal? CAF and FIFA acknowledge the contributions of former players, but somehow some individual within us did not.
“Yes, we appreciate the efforts that are being made by ZIFA by enforcing the Club Licensing System and make sure the coaching profession has people who have the credentials, but that does not mean the credentials have to be beyond the reach of many, no. After all technical directors must never put coaching in their pockets or treat it as a personal property,” said Chunga.
The SCUZ president has an equivalent of a UEFA B Coaching Licence attained in Germany.