Highlanders Coach Baltemar Brito Under Fire: Club Chaos Erupts, Title Bid at Risk
The once harmonious relationship between Highlanders and coach Baltemar Brito has reportedly hit a rough patch. The Portuguese coach’s admission of actively seeking employment, including applying for the Warriors coaching position, has stirred tensions within the club.
Contractual Uncertainty and Club Displeasure
Brito, with four months remaining on his contract, openly disclosed to the media his pursuit of the vacant Warriors job while expressing dissatisfaction with the lack of engagement from Highlanders regarding contract renewal. The club’s management is displeased with the coach’s actions, particularly during their promising league title campaign.
Disciplinary Committee Involvement Looms
Sources indicate that Brito may face disciplinary action for breaching the club’s code of conduct by publicly discussing contractual matters. The club’s management reportedly held a heated meeting with the coach to address the situation.
Club’s Diplomatic Response
Highlanders’ CEO, Ronald Moyo, opted for a diplomatic approach when questioned about the issue. He acknowledged Brito’s ambition to coach the national team and wished him well. However, Moyo emphasized the importance of remaining focused on the ongoing season’s objectives and not losing sight of their goals.
“We understand and appreciate the coach’s ambition to coach the national team. We can only wish him all the best. What is important is that the coach has a running contract and he is aware of the expectations,” said Moyo.
Brito’s Manager and Mourinho’s Support
Brito revealed that his manager, Gilbert Sengwe, submitted his application for the Warriors’ position. He also received encouragement from his friend, AS Roma coach Jose Mourinho, to pursue the job. Sengwe confirmed submitting the application but assured that Brito had no intention of severing ties with Highlanders.
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Title Pursuit and Strained Relationship
The strained relationship between Brito and Highlanders could potentially disrupt the team’s quest for the league title. Currently leading the race after 18 rounds of matches, Brito’s unbeaten squad faces Black Rhinos in their upcoming fixture at Barbourfields Stadium.
Transfer Window Frustrations
The coach’s relationship with the club had already been strained due to his public criticism of the management’s handling of the pursuit for striker Obriel Chirinda during the recent player transfer window. Despite Brito’s strong interest, Highlanders failed to secure the services of the Bulawayo Chiefs marksman, reported Newsday.