One of the four local coaches at the recent Gabon Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals, Callisto Pasuwa, has emerged as a frontrunner in Flames coaching job.
Expatriate coaches that have shown interest in the job include former Zimbabwe goalkeeper Bruce Globbelaar, former Zambia coach Honour Janza, Paolo Duarte and Ian Gorowa.
Pasuwa, who was reportedly pocketing $7 000 (about K5.1 million) as Warriors coach, is riding on the strength that he guided Zimbabwe to their first Afcon qualification in a decade.
This is not the first time for the Zimbabwean to show interest in the Flames coaching job having also indicated that he would apply for the post in June 2015 following the firing of Young Chimodzi.
His agent Gibson Mahachi confirmed in an e-mail response that this time his client applied for the Flames coaching job and that he got enquiries from FAM on the availability of the former Zimbabwe coach.
“I can confirm that the coach [Pasuwa] will be available to consider any offers as from March 1, 2017. I can also confirm to you that we have received an official inquiry from the Malawi FA and will soon be engaging,” he said.
FAM general secretary (GS) Alfred Gunda, who is in South Africa for a Fifa workshop, will pass by Harare for another meeting convened by Council of Southern Africa Football Association (Cosafa) president Phillip Chiyangwa, who is also Zimbabwe FA boss.
But Gunda refused to comment on whether he will take advantage of the trip to meet Pasuwa’s agent.
“There are several coaches that have shown interest in the Flames coaching job. We are talking to some of them based on the kind of coach we want, but I cannot be mentioning them now because it is premature,” he said.
But former GS Suzgo Nyirenda, who started negotiations with Pasuwa before joining Cosafa in December 2016, confirmed the upshot and said he will be part of the deliberations.
“Mr. Pasuwa showed interest in the past, he is still interested to take up the position. I will meet his agent and FAM GS [Gunda] because they are both in Sandton, South Africa. Since I started talking to him before I left, I will just handover where we left to the new GS and whatever happens will depend on what they will agree,” said Nyirenda.
The development comes after FAM announced it would make a decision on which coach to hire this Saturday following government’s delay on whether the association should engage an expatriate.
But Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Henry Mussa yesterday morning pleaded for patience on the matter on MBC Radio 2’s Breakfast Show Sports.
But FAM president Walter Nyamilandu has already stated that in the event that government does not give the association a green light, they will hire an African coach as plan B and a local as the last option.
Mahachi said Pasuwa, who parted ways with Zimbabwe Warriors after Gabon Afcon exit, will be available after March 1 and was ready to get down to the task of reviving the Flames’ lost glory.
Ironically, Pasuwa was responsible for Chimodzi’s exit in 2015 after upsetting Malawi 2-1 at Kamuzu Stadium despite the Warriors travelling by bus and training for only a day.
He repeated the feat against Chimodzi’s successor Ernest Mtawali at Rufaro Stadium as Zimbabwe punched a ticket to Gabon Afcon finals with a 3-0 victory.
Born June 20 1970 in Mutare, Pasuwa’s playing days are well documented through his exploits with Dynamos FC, including the team’s success in 1998 CAF Champions League.
After retirement, he coached Dynamos FC from 2011 to 2014 and also doubled as assistant coach of the Warriors of Zimbabwe.
He was finally appointed Warriors head coach after leading the Under-23 to All Africa Games in 2015.
The holder of CAF A licence is regarded as one of Zimbabwe’s most successful coaches.