Zim coaches in public bust up

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The Warriors beat the Zebras 1-0 in an international friendly last night.

But Mapeza, one of three assistants to Valinhos, together with David Mandigora and goalkeeper coach Brenna Msiska, was conspicuous by his absence from the contingent that left Harare International Airport.

Mapeza is said to have fallen out with Valinhos after the Brazilian allegedly felt ‘a sense of insubordination from his assistant whom he had tasked to carry out a drill with some of the players during training’.

Sources present at the bust up indicated that the two coaches then exchanged harsh words in full view of the players before Mapeza was later “dropped from the travelling party”.

Warriors’ manager Ernest Sibanda, although confirming the incident, declined to discuss much about it arguing that he needed to first submit his report to Zifa chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya.

The Warriors manager instead chose to focus his attention on the senior team's assignment against the Zebras in which he welcomed the presence of Zimbabwe's foreign-based professionals.

Sibanda said although they had been expecting at least 12 professionals for tonight's game, they were happy that seven of them - skipper Benjani Mwaruwari, Zvenyika Makonese, Honour Gombami, Vusa Nyoni, Esrom Nyandoro, Gilbert Mushangazhike and Obert Moyo had arrived and were part of the 18-man side that travelled yesterday.

“We are happy that we have seven internationals who arrived for this game. We had asked for about 12 but unfortunately we have been told that Onismor Bhasera, Cephas Chimedza, Noel Kaseke, Musa Mguni and Tinashe Nengomasha are all injured.”

Mwaruwari, speaking shortly before the team’s departure for Gaborone, said he believed their international friendly was crucial for team building ahead of the start of Zimbabwe’s 2010 World Cup and African Cup of Nations qualifying campaign.

The Manchester City striker, playing for the first time under Valinhos, also welcomed the move by Zifa to finally utilise the Fifa date for international friendlies, which had made it possible for the Warriors’ foreign-based legion to be released by their clubs.

Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Esrom Nyandoro, who will also be playing under Valinhos for the first time, reckoned that the local players had acquitted themselves in the Warriors' last international friendly despite losing 2-1 to South Africa.

“I missed the match due to club commitments but the youngsters gave a good account of themselves against a South African side whose players are playing in the Premiership.

“It’s not always about foreign-based players as some of the players are not always doing well.

“So far, working under the coach (Valinhos) is good. He is one coach who wants to understand players," said Nyandoro.

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