Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
HARARE City coach Mark Harrison has stepped down from his post in a development which could affect the municipal club’s proposed twinning with English Championship football side Nottingham Forest.
The former CAPS United gaffer had before the AFCON-enforced Premiership break sensationally threatened to leave the local league, having been frustrated by the way match officials were handling Harare City’s games.
Though it was claimed the coach had been given a compassionate leave in the past few days he has been suspiciously away, it has since been established that Harrison has indeed resigned from his position.
His long-time ally and former assistant at the capital club, Mark Mathe, has taken temporary charge of the team and he picked up a crucial point away against TelOne at Luveve on Sunday in a game his charges played virtually the entire tie a man short after midfielder Moses Muchenje was controversially sent off.
Harare City chief executive Tafadzwa Bhasera confirmed Harrison had tendered his resignation.
“Our head coach, Mark Harrison, has left his post. He has his own reasons and we had to respect that. We would like to thank him for the work he did for the team in the past one-and-a-half years he has been in charge.
“We wish him all the best in his future endeavours,” she said.
But the development could leave the club’s hyped historic pact with Nottingham Forest in tatters.
Harrison has been spearheading the proposed marriage between the two parties.
The English coach, who hails from Derby near the city of Nottingham, had initiated partnership talks early this year and last month, Forest made the first move after inviting juniors’ coaches from Harare City to come for attachment in England.
They had also pledged modern training equipment for the flourishing Harare City Academy.
But with Harrison’s ties with the double Chibuku Super Cup champions having ended, the lucrative twinning deal could suffer a stillbirth.
Bhasera has, however, insisted the partnership will not be affected whatsoever since Harrison and Harare City parted ways by mutual consent.
Already, Mathe is being tipped to take over the reins as he has lived under the shadows of Harrison for the past 18 months.
But the former CAPS United deputy mentor will have to convince the Harare City hierarchy in the coming few weeks if he is to earn a substantive role.
Former coach Mkhuphali Masuku is also seen as potential replacement for Harrison after he was spotted at Luveve on Sunday.