The Zifa normalisation Committee has confirmed the appointment of Highlanders coach Baltemar Brito as the substantive Warriors coach until June 2024, ending their search for the country’s first coach since the Fifa suspension was lifted in July.
Brito will be assisted by Bongani Mafu who has served in the same role before and Dynamos coach Genesis Mangombe.
The Brazil-born Portuguese coach arrived in Zimbabwe at the start of the year and had a brilliant first half of the season with Highlanders where they went for the first 19 matches unbeaten.
The new Warriors technical team will get straight into duty as they have to assemble a squad that will play in the invitational match against Botswana in celebration of that country’s independence.
Zifa made the announcement in a statement on Thursday.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) is pleased to inform the nation that it has appointed Baltemar Brito as the head coach of the senior men’s team forthwith until June 2024. He will be assisted by Bongani Mafu and Genesis Mangombe,” read the statement.
“The Normalisation Committee (NC) settled for the trio after an extensive recruitment and consultative process based on regional, continental, and global confederations’ guidelines. The NC set the coaches’ term of engagement to end at the same time with its mandate so that the next board will have the opportunity to recruit its own coaches.
“Brito and his assistants’ first assignment will be the invitational match to celebrate Botswana’s Independence Day on 30 September. Thereafter, they will have to begin working on creating a team to compete in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in November.
“ZIFA would like to thank Highlanders FC and Dynamos for allowing their coaches to serve the nation. The coaches will remain with their clubs, and will be reporting for national assignments as and when required to do so.
“The association pleads for the nation’s patience as it continues with the recruitment of remaining national teams’ coaches,” Zifa said.
Coaches for Mighty Warriors and age-groups teams are yet to be chosen.
Interestingly, the Mighty Warriors are set to take part in the Cosafa Cup in barely three weeks’ time.