An estimated 800 qualified coaches in the country, nearly 80 percent of the industry, are jobless largely unqualified because clubssome in Super League and others in regional leagues are offering coaching roles to personnel, Nation on Sunday understands.
The situation has partly affected football’s development, soccer authorities have said, as most players, especially young ones are unable to be trained in a professional way.
The National Football Coaches Association (NFCA) has said the development has also led potentially brilliant coaches quitting the industry to pursue other careers.
According to the association, there are 1 043 trained coaches; 62 CAF A Licence holders, four CAF B licensed ones, 60 fall in CAF C category while 920 have Fam C Licence.
NFCA general secretary Davie Mpina said most of the coaches are employed by Super League clubs but lamented that their analysis shows that lower league teams do not employ the qualified coaches.
“Our rough survey shows that in lower leagues only Premier Division teams have qualified coaches. Not all teams in this division, but about 75 percent,” Mpina said.
“Otherwise Division Ones and Twos have very few.” The general secretar y attributed the lack of absorption of trained coaches to clubs’ unwillingness to spend much.
“They hire untrained people because they want cheap labour. Sadly it is killing football,” he said while estimating that the employed coaches are around 200.
“Most of the working coaches are with clubs, some work with national teams such as youth, senior and women sides. Added to this list, are those working for Fifa youth programmes in all the districts. I would say there are around 200 that are working,” he said.
Mpina further said his association is formulating policies which will ensure that most positions in the teams’ technical panels are occupied by qualified coaches.
“You will realise that most people working as team managers are not qualified coaches. We want this to change so that qualified coaches take up such positions. This can address the unemployment,” he said.
Central Region Football Association (CRFA) vice general secretary Anthony Manda said they are also concerned with the lack of qualified coaches in their league.
“The records we have show that in Division One the qualified coaches uptake is three percent while in Division Two its almost zero,” he said.
Manda, whose league has the biggest number of teams, said the association plans to enforce rules that will ensure that all the teams have qualified coaches.
“If we are to improve our game we need to move in line with club licensing system by making sure that clubs are hiring the right coaches,” he stated. Northern Region Football Association chairperson Lameck Khonje also shared CRFA sentiments, saying there was need to enforce the use of qualified coaches. “We have the same problem in our league. Clubs can hire every Jim and Jack which is not good for football development. If we are to improve our playing standards, we seriously need qualified coaches at every team. Our league is trying to come up with regulations regarding this,” he said.
But FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda said much as they would support the move to enforce all regional leagues to have qualified coaches it will be difficult for most clubs to fulfil the requirement because they are financially unstable.
“We appreciate the tough situation the trained coaches are facing because the market is flooded as we have trained a lot of them. However, we also understand that lower division clubs face financial problems and they survive on well-wishers’ support. This is difficult for them to hire qualified coaches,” he said.
Gunda said the best way for the unemployed coaches to earn recognition is by volunteering to work with the clubs for free.
“As a starting point, the coaches can gain experience by coaching the lower league sides even if they don’t receive anything. If the team is doing well it is easy to get the attention of clubs that can pay you. We have seen most coaches rising because of such sacrifices,” he said