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WARRIORS coach Callisto Pasuwa says he has no hard feelings and has pledged to commit himself fully to the national team’s cause as they hope to resume preparations for the Africa Nations Championships finals in Rwanda after burying differences with his employers at ZIFA.
Pasuwa appeared in cheerful disposition when he emerged from a meeting with ZIFA High Performance Committee chairperson and board member Edzai Kasinauyo.
The meeting was also attended by Warriors team manager Shariff Mussa and the association’s technical director Maxwell Takaendesa Jongwe.
Speaking at a Press conference, which was also attended by the trio, Pasuwa said he has put behind him the tempestuous week in which ZIFA vice president Omega Sibanda sensationally alleged that the coach’s selection was biased towards 16 players the Bulawayo businessman claimed are from the same stable as the gaffer’s manager Gibson Mahachi.
Sibanda’s claims were however, proved to be false as it turned out that only four players in the CHAN squad under the management of Mahachi and the quartet had won their places in the senior team on merit.
The fall-out between Pasuwa and Sibanda led to the shock sacking of the coach and the disbanding of the Warriors training camp in a decision roundly condemned by the nation with Sport and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane leading the calls for a reversal of the move.
Relations between the coach and the ZIFA board had been strained in the past few days following a slew of allegations that were levelled against the coach and his manager as the basis of his dismissal. However, ZIFA yesterday issued a public apology in the media and extended the olive branch to the coach.
Pasuwa said he was ready to move forward with his employers while they also looked into the issues surrounding his working conditions including a contract.
After burying their differences, Pasuwa said he was eager to make up for lost time with his charges and wants his players to return into camp on Boxing Day (Saturday).
“No hard feelings, that’s the reason why I am here. I am prepared to work for the nation. Maybe it’s a case of understanding each other,” said Pasuwa.
“When arguing we argue in order to come up with results and it’s one of those things. I think they have done their part by apologising and I have accepted it.
“I am happy to go and play in the CHAN tournament. I am back again and with the support I got from the fans I think I should have to reward them (by doing well at the CHAN). I am happy that we are back and we are calling the guys to come back to the camp,” Pasuwa said.
The Warriors had a slow start to their preparations when they went into camp last week but soon problems cropped up when Pasuwa failed to agree with the then acting ZIFA president Sibanda leading to his abrupt dismissal.
The team, which was already a week behind, has now lost another week of preparations and Pasuwa is now hoping to manage his programme.
“We will have to manage the programme so that we can come up with better preparations that could make us play better when we go to Rwanda,” said Pasuwa.
The former DeMbare man, who has been working with the national teams for over a year on a gentlemen’s agreement, revealed his management team is now in the process of discussion with the authorities at ZIFA to come up with a contract.
The contract is expected to be ready by the end of the month.
Kasinauyo said they are looking to wrap up the contract talks in the shortest possible time.
The former Warriors and Moroka Swallows midfielder also said they would look into the contentious issue of players’ allowances without disrupting the team’s progress.
“In terms of contract negotiations for Mr Pasuwa as you are aware it was discussed and we have engaged his team and we are busy with the terms of the contract. But basically we are all on the same page and should be able to conclude within the coming days, coming weeks,” said Kasinauyo.
“Sometimes when there is a discord there are always a lot of stories. But going forward it’s a matter of us being able to resolve our issues in a manner that at the end of the day doesn’t disturb the bigger picture of what we are trying to achieve,” said Kasinauyo.
Kasinausyo also said ZIFA had learnt from their mistakes and were willing to improve the manner in which they conduct their business.
There are fears, however, that some of the players could have travelled to be with their families for the Christmas holidays after they were sent away at the height of last week’s ZIFA madness.
“As we said we have agreed on our way forward and we are now putting the logistics to get the guys back. They are off-season now so we are trying to get hold of each and every player to make sure that we resume camp. It’s a matter of making sure we have everyone on board and then we start as a group,” said Kasinauyo.
The CHAN tournament will take place from January 16 to February 7 in Rwanda.
Zimbabwe are in Group D together with Uganda, Mali and neighbours Zambia.
Warriors manager Mussa, who had been sacked together with the rest of the technical crew, gave an insight of the conditions he had observed in the Rubavu district of Rwanda where the Warriors will be based for their group games.
Mussa attended the draw on behalf of Zimbabwe last month, said the nation should take preparations for the tournament seriously if they hope to surpass their top four finish at the previous edition held in South Africa.
The experienced Warriors manager also warned that Group D teams would have to brace for some challenges as they would be playing in a small town where some of the facilities were still under construction.

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