Guinea and Zimbabwe, the Flames’ biggest threat on a windy road to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals, have hired new coaches.
Ahead of the 2015 Cosafa Cup and Afcon battles this June, Guinea have hired Frenchman Luis Fernandez, whereas the Warriors of Zimbabwe have settled for home solution in recommending Callisto Pasuwa to lead them through the campaign.
The Herald newspaper reported yesterday that Zimbabwe Football Association high performance committee member John Phiri said they recommended the Dynamos legend whose appointment awaits Zifa’s board endorsement.
“The recommendations are that Callisto Pasuwa should be in charges of the Afcon team. He will also remain in charge of the Under-23 team because we do not want to disrupt the good work that he has started with the Young Warriors,” Phiri told the newspaper.
In West Africa, Guinea Football Federation (Feguifoot) announced during the week that the former French international has signed a 20-month contact, with an option for an extension.
The 55-year-old will, in addition to Afcon assignments, also lead the West Africans to the World Cup qualifying race for a place in Russia in 2018.
Fernandez’s last job was as national coach of Israel, and his other coaching posts have included two stints at Paris St Germain, where he also spent the bulk of his playing days, and Spanish clubs Athletic Bilbao, Espanyol and Real Betis.
Fernandez, who has spent the last years as a high-profile radio pundit in France, takes over from compatriot Michel Dussuyer, who departed the job despite Guinea reaching the quarter-final of the Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea in January.
Guinea begin qualification for the 2017 Nations Cup in June with a home tie against Swaziland, whereas the Flames host Zimbabwe.
Top two teams from each of the 14 groups on the continent will qualify for Gabon finals alongside the hosts and defending champions Cote d’Ivoire.
Malawi will warm up for Afcon qualifiers and Cosafa Cup scheduled for next month with matches against Zambia on May 10 and Bafana Bafana on May 20.