By Sports Reporter
FC PLATINUM’S preparations for their CAF Champions League first round, first leg tie against Mozambique’s UD Songo at Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday have been thrown into turmoil after coach Norman Mapeza resigned from his post at the club on Thursday morning.
Widely regarded as one of the finest young coaches in the country, Mapeza led the Zvishavane-based side to back-to-back Premier Soccer League (PSL) titles and the group stages of the CAF Champions League during his five-year stint with FC Platinum.
FC Platinum president George Mawere confirmed Mapeza’s departure in a statement before announcing the elevation of Lizwe Sweswe from assistant coach to the interim head coach.
“FC Platinum Club wishes to announce the departure of head coach, Norman Mapeza from the team through a mutual separation agreement,” Mawere said.
“Norman has been with the team for the past five (5) years and the club would like to thank him for his professionalism, dedication and commitment to the achievement of the club’s objectives. During his tenure, the Club made history by winning back to back League titles and reaching the group stages of the prestigious CAF Champions League. The club presidium, fans, executive, management, entire technical and playing staff wish him well in his future endeavours. In the interim, Lizwe Sweswe will be the acting head coach,” he said.
Mapeza joined FC Platinum in April, 2014, taking over from former Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa before going on to transform the then modest club into a dominant side on the domestic front during his tenure.
The Zvishavane side, under Mapeza, have finished third in 2015, second in 2016, first in 2017 and first in 2018 and lead the championship race going into this weekend’s round of fixtures.
Prior to his departure on Thursday Mapeza was the longest-serving coach at any of the clubs in the domestic Premiership.
The 47-year-old coach played professional football in Poland, Turkey and South Africa and coached CAPS United and the now defunct Monomotapa during the year they won the Premier League championship.