Story by Lawrence Trusida, Sports Editor
HIGHLANDERS Technical Manager, Baltermar Brito has been appointed as the interim Zimbabwe national football team coach until June next year.
The 71-year-old Portuguese mentor will take charge of the Warriors until June next year when the tenure of the ZIFA Normalisation Committee expires.
Brito will be assisted by Dynamos coach, Genesis Mangombe who is viewed as one of the promising young coaches on the local scene and former Highlanders and Hwange coach, Bongani Mafu, who was trained in Germany.
In a statement, the ZIFA Normalisation Committee shed a bit of light on the appointment saying, “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.”
The Brazil-born Brito was part of a quartet that also included fitness coach, Rui Faria, goalkeeping coach Silvino Louro and chief scout André Villas-Boas who worked with Jose Mourinho from Porto to Chelsea in 2004 and specialised in preparing the team for matches.
The UEFA pro license holder, whose contract at Highlanders expires at the end of the season, has never coached a national team but has vast experience having led Brazilian side Grêmio and Al-Ittihad of Libya among other clubs.
He has however been an assistant coach for the better part of his career, where he had stints at English Premier League giants Chelsea, former Portuguese champions Porto, Greek side AEK Athens and Tunisian giants Esperance, among other clubs.
Brito and his assistants’ first assignment will be on the 30th of September when Zimbabwe take on Botswana to celebrate the neighbouring country’s Independence Day.
The Warriors will shift their focus to the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers in November where they are in group C alongside Nigeria’s Super Eagles, South Africa, Lesotho, Rwanda, and Benin.