Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter—
GIFT MUZADZI has made sensational claims that Dynamos coach Paulo Jorge Silva appears to have a low opinion of black coaches and believes they know either nothing, or very little at all, and cannot be trusted to be partners who can help him achieve success. Muzadzi revealed yesterday that his working relationship with Silva was strained but blamed the Portuguese gaffer for fanning divisions in the technical set-up, lacking respect for his workmates, and behaving as if he is the one who introduced football in this country, a man who knows it all while everyone else — including his backroom staff — don’t know anything.
He also questioned Silva’s commitment to stay at the club for a long time after revealing that the Portuguese coach bragged that if the club’s leaders fire him he will pocket a cool $50 000, for working for just a few months, and the eccentric gaffer could be daring the team’s bosses to axe him.
Muzadzi said he will never sabotage Dynamos, a club he has served with distinction, including being part of the team that reached the final of the 1998 CAF Champions League, and is hurt by claims that he is part of a cartel working to ensure that Silva doesn’t succeed.
He believes the Portuguese coach should concentrate on his job, rather than chasing shadows and picking senseless fights with people he believes are sabotaging him, so that there is unity of purpose at the Glamour Boys. There were disturbances at Rufaro on Saturday after Dynamos were held to a goalless draw by Triangle, with fans baying for Muzadzi’s head, and the goalkeeper’s coach believes Silva is trying to put him on a collision course with the supporters by suggesting, at every turn, that he was one of the people sabotaging the club.Muzadzi says Silva seems to believe that, simply because he is a coach from Europe, he knows everything and everyone else should just sing his song even on the occasions when he is clearly getting it wrong since he is still learning the ropes at Dynamos and needs guidance from those who know the club’s culture.
“I saw the interview the coach (Silva) granted to the media and wondered how he is being sabotaged exactly. I feel he should have pointed out exactly that such and such actions are sabotaging my efforts,” said Muzadzi.
“We should respect each other, not just smear one another with cheap talk. He has only been here for three months but it seems he has this image about Africans, which is wrong.
“But some of us also played abroad. Dynamos is a big team and we came a long way with it and I don’t have anything against this team. He rushed to the media but he is hiding behind his finger. He should train and win.
“If I leave and they continue to lose who will he blame then, the team manager, or maybe he will end up blaming everyone. He must just be responsible as a coach.”
Muzadzi said he could not understand how he was allegedly sabotaging the team when the goalkeeping department, the area that is his responsibility, was doing well with Tatenda Mukuruva rising to becoming the Warriors’ first-choice ‘keeper.
“I am part of the technical team but I have a specific department that I work with and that is the goalkeeping one and if I was sabotaging the team Tatenda would be the weakest link in the team but, if anything, he has been working very hard for the team,” said Muzadzi.
“We lost 3-0 to Chicken Inn but he was outstanding that day and everyone saw it, the crucial saves he made.
“This kind of talk, especially at a team like Dynamos, doesn’t do anyone any good except to divide the players, coaches and supporters and I don’t know where the coach is getting all that from. He (Silva) is new at the club and as a coach I don’t think you should listen to gossip.
“I have worked with different coaches such as Westerhof (Clemence) and helped them settle at the club so this is not new that I am working with him. I don’t have any problems working with anyone, I just know that I should do my job.”
Muzadzi also opened up at the hostile working conditions at DeMbare right now. “Even Lloyd Mutasa is no longer comfortable exchanging notes with me at training because if Silva sees us talking together, he says we are plotting his downfall. He is always suspecting bad things,” said Muzadzi.
“And, seriously, I don’t know if this is still football. I grew up with Lloyd eating from the same plate, we are close, we have always had our dreams and want to be successful in our career of coaching and that inspires us and nothing else.
“This talk is simply destroying the team. Even the players are no longer comfortable to work with me for the fear of being accused (of sabotaging the team).
“I sacrificed a lot and got injured and I still carry scars up to this day and, above all, my bread is buttered here and I am a family man who should provide for the family and so how can I sabotage the team?
“That is just a baseless accusation. Players love to win matches and get winning bonuses. These players need the money and things are tough in the country so, honestly, I can’t imagine how a player can sabotage and fail to win a match and then go home empty-handed.”
Since his arrival in the country Silva has clashed with a lot of people.
“I am the same age as him and I have also been in football for some time. He is from Europe, yes, but that doesn’t give him the ticket to harass us,” said Muzadzi. “We have had whites before. This is not the first time we have seen football here and he is not discovering football either.
“We clashed because I have tried to restrain him whenever he loses his cool and told him to act as a professional. He has created a lot of problems for the team. But people are now saying Gift is sabotaging the team. How, if I may ask?
“I stand for the truth and I don’t gossip. Silva said it point-blank at training that if Dynamos fire him then they will give him US$50 000 then he will go home rich. “So maybe he wants to go home rich and it is unfortunate that some supporters have got involved and used as pawns.
“Since the day he had an altercation with Prophet Magaya he has been giving me a cold shoulder and I don’t have problems with him, maybe it is him who has issues with me. “He said that he was going to resign if we lose to Triangle and after the match he said ‘the fans have clapped hands at me and they are happy with me’.”
Muzadzi was not part of the team which began training for this week’s game yesterday at Hellenic Sports Club as he is away in Mutare for a CAF C license course.