CAF poser for Zimbabwean coaches LAYING DOWN THE LAW . . . ZIFA technical director Wilson Mutekede says football academies should meet the required standards to get certification

Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter

ALL CAF A coaching licence holders in the country are sitting on invalid documents and will not be allowed to sit on the bench when international football returns unless they endorse their badges again through refresher courses.

The CAF A coaching badge has a lifespan of three years, under the CAF coaching convention which seeks to raise the quality of coaches in Africa through professional training.

ZIFA Technical director Wilson Mutekede yesterday said CAF were getting tough regarding the quality of the game on the continent and will not tolerate under-qualified coaches to take charge of the game.

“According to the conventions signed by FIFA and all football confederations, every coaching licence is deemed to be valid for three years and after that it needs validation through the approved refresher courses.

“So, supposing our suspension is lifted by FIFA and our clubs qualify to play in the CAF Champions League or Confederation Cup, no Zimbabwean coach will be allowed to sit on the bench because of the requirements of the coaching conventions.

“The validity of the CAF A Licence is three years and after that the coaches need to go back on the desk again. This is the case obtaining in every confederation, be it UEFA, CONCACAF, virtually anywhere. So every federation is requested to validate these badges through the provision of refresher courses.

“It’s all related to the dynamics that are taking place in the game; football is ever-changing and all this is based on the scientific approach the game has taken.

“Football nowadays is based on science and science requires that everything be measured in order to see progress and improve the quality of the game,” said Mutekede.

According to Article 32 of the CAF coaching convention:

  • A CAF coaching licence is valid for three years, after the year of issue or renewal.
  • A CAF coaching licence is renewed for a further three years if its holder has completed a refresher course organized by a Convention Member.
  • A CAF coaching licence gives its holder the right to coach a representative team of a CAF Member Association in accordance with the requirements set by the Convention.
  • The validity of a CAF coaching licence is subject to the licence holder undertaking to adhere to the statutes, regulations, directives and decisions of CAF and the Convention Member that issued the license in question.

Zimbabwe last held a CAF A coaching course in 2017, which is now almost six years. Coaches that do not hold the CAF A Licence are not allowed to sit on the bench for the local Premiership football games.

According to the CAf coaching convention, the coaches are recommended to renew their licenses after every three years.

ZIFA, like all members of CAF, are required to set up a training programme in accordance with the standards defined by CAF, while maintaining their unique identity and approach to the game.

Mutekede said holders of CAF A licences will need to validate their badges at a refresher course to be held later this month as most of them are in possession of expired licences.

ZIFA have arranged the refresher course in preparation for the country’s readmission to FIFA. The refresher course is scheduled to run from February 20-25 at Oriel Boys High in Harare.

“The Zimbabwe Football Association hereby invites CAF A licenced coaches of all elite league clubs to attend a CAF A licence refresher course.

“All participants are required to carry a training kit, stopwatch, whistle, and a medical certificate certifying them fit to partake in physical activities.

“All Premier Soccer League clubs should kindly note that the course’s certification will be a prerequisite for their coaches to be accredited to sit on the technical bench for the 2023 season,” reads a note from ZIFA.

The course fee is yet to be availed.

“We will be bringing in a foreign instructor so we will be hearing from our accounts department what amount to charge and revealing the course fee soon,” said Mutekede.

“We are saying every coach who has their CAF A badge must validate their certificate. According to the CAF statutes, a licence must be validated by a refresher course after every three years. “We last held a CAF A course in 2017 which means most of our coaches’ certificates need to be renewed for them to be valid. This is a normal validation refresher course,” said Mutekede.

According to the standardisation ZIFA is enforcing for local football, Premiership gaffers and their assistants must have a CAF A badge as the minimum qualification to sit on the bench this season.

Division One coaches should have a minimum of CAF B while assistant coaches are required to be holders of a CAF C or ZIFA Level Four licence.

In the Second Division, a coach should have a CAF C licence while his assistant should have a Level Three qualification.

The coaching standards have been cascaded down to Division Three, tertiary institutions, and schools.  For secondary schools, a ZIFA Level Two badge is mandatory, and primary school football coaches should have at least a Level Two certificate.

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