Principled Mapeza has no regrets

06 May, 2020 - 00:05 0 Views
Principled Mapeza has no regrets Norman Mapeza

The Herald

Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
NORMAN MAPEZA has no regrets about the timing of his decision to leave Chippa United, just two weeks before the South African Premiership was halted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Had the former Warriors captain and coach deferred his decision to leave the club, by about a week, the turn of events — which saw football being frozen across South Africa — would have probably meant he would still be the Chippa United coach by now.

That would have meant he would still have been receiving his monthly salary at Chippa, without taking charge of the team, with the club owner, Siviwe Mpengesi, boasting the gaffer was one of the best-paid coaches in Super Diski.

It’s not clear when the season will resume, or whether it will be restarted at all, and the more this would drag on, the more Mapeza would still have been getting his salary without taking charge of the team.

The Zimbabwean coach was a success story at Chippa United, inheriting a side that had not won a league match since the start of the season, and converting them into one whose fans now even dreamt of a Top Eight finish.

Chippa United owner, Siviwe “Chippa’’ Mpengesi, even said Mapeza was the Pitso Mosimane of Zimbabwean football and placed a R20 million (about US$1.87m) release clause on the former Warriors skipper to deter potential suitors.

Only one league match was played, since Mapeza threw in the towel, with his successor, Rulani Mokwena, leading them to a goalless draw against Bidvest Wits on March 7.

But, Mapeza, and his management team headed by Gibson Mahachi, say they have no regrets about the timing of their move since it was both in the interest of the coach and the club.

Mapeza is one of those rare principled sports stars who, like Moses Chunga, would rather choose to forgo the riches as long as he believes he is doing something he believes in.

“The decision by Mapeza (Norman) to quit his role at Chippa United was well-calculated and thought out,” Mahachi told The Herald yesterday.

“There is nothing to regret.

“If anything, Mapeza is very appreciative of what Chippa United did to his career. He has gained a lot in terms of experience.”

Mahachi reiterated Mapeza was not forced to throw in the towel because of serious differences with the club owner, maverick businessman Mpengesi.

“Mapeza and Mpengesi were in good books, and they remain so,’’ said Mahachi. “Like we have said in the past, Mapeza’s decision to quit his post, as the Chippa United gaffer, was a well-informed one and professional.

“The two (Mapeza and Mpengesi) are still very close.

“We appreciate the fact that Mapeza had a chance to work for Chippa United and the work he did there is tremendous.” Since his resignation, a letter emerged giving an insight into why Mapeza decided to leave the club.

“I hereby give notice to terminate my contract with Chippa United with immediate effect,” the letter read. “It is my view that the team is in need of a new voice.

“As it stands, I do not feel I am able to get the team where it is expected to be for reasons including, but not limited to, the short amount of time I have worked with the team vis-à-vis the expectation of the club and its management.

“The club may benefit from new set of hands with a different skill set and coaching approach.

“It is my hope that we can reach mutual agreement pertaining to the termination of this contract and severe the relationship in an amicable way.”

Five senior players were shown the exit door by Chippa United, just a week after Mapeza left, with Thabo Rakhale, Diamond Thopola, Lehlogonolo Masalesa, Kurt Lentjies and Andile Mbenyane all being released from their contracts.

 

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