ZIFA developing cold feet over Djordevic

sunday_chidzambwa550HARARE -- The match-fixing scandal involving Zimbabwean sides and teams from Asia could torpedo Zoran Djordjevics bid for the Warriors job, with reports that some members of the ZIFA board are against hiring the experienced Serbian coach because he worked in Asia. (Pictured: Sunda

A ZIFA board member said while the soccer body did not doubt the integrity of Djordjevic and was aware that he has never been accused of fixing games, however a growing number of board members feel it is better hiring someone who has no links with the Asian game.

Djordjevic has an impressive CV which could easily dwarf those of most of the 12 other coaches vying for the Warriors post.

“The problem is that the Serbian coach has an impressive CV but there are concerns over his appointment because of these issues of match fixing, said the board member, who spoke on condition he was not named.

Djordjevic recently made history with Bangladesh, leading them to victory in the SAF Games after an 11-year gap.

He was earlier with Churchill Brothers, whom he had guided to their maiden I-League title last year.

The Serbian also became the first foreign coach to win the I-League. He quit the job following differences with the Bangladesh’s Football Federation over contractual issues.

The match-fixing scam, which has rocked Zimbabwean football, has seen ZIFA chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya suspended pending the outcome of a hearing to determine her role in the matter.

The Warriors job fell vacant in May following the departure of Sunday Chidzambwa who joined South African Premiership side Free State Stars.

ZIFA, facing serious cash flow problems, has asked caretaker coach Norman Mapeza to take charge of the team for their opening 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifier away to Liberia next month while they look for a substantive coach.

The broke ZIFA has previously said it would only hire a coach it can afford to pay, which could put usually expensive foreign coaches including Djordjevic out of its reach.

The Warriors are preparing for their 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifiers. They are in Group A that includes seasoned campaigners Mali and the Cape Verde.

The Warriors, who are ranked 110 in the world failed to qualify for the 2010 African Nations Cup that took place in Angola and the World Cup held in South Africa.

List of applicants:

Cosmas Zulu, Milos Hrstic (Croatia), Norman Mapeza, Tom Saintfiet (Belgium), Joey Antipas, Phillip Zulu, Tomislan Obbradovic (Croatia), Otto Pfister (Germany), Tongai Dodo, Marc Duvillard (Switzerland), Zoran Djordjevic (Serbia), Peter Butler United Kingdom).

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