Dutch legends visit Zim

HARARE - Famed former Netherlands internationals and Barcelona legends Patrick Kluivert and Edgar Davids were last night expected in the country alongside Real Murcia forward Rayco Garcia.

The trio, who are in the country at the invitation of the government, are expected to meet with Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane as well as Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president Philip Chiyangwa as they try to create avenues for local talent.

Kluivert was a feared striker during his heyday and was a member of Ajax’s Golden Generation of the 1990s before blossoming at Barcelona.

Davids also honed his skills at Ajax in the 90s before going to make successful careers at AC Milan, Juventus and Barcelona.

A statement from the Sports ministry yesterday said: “The ministry of Sport and Recreation is pleased to announce that Rayco Garcia and his erstwhile counterparts in FC Barcelona Patrick Kluivert and Edgar Davids will be in Zimbabwe as guests of the minister of Sport and Recreation.

“It is also a pleasure that Rayco, Kluivert and Davids are also bringing signed souvenir jerseys by Lionel Messi for President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace Mugabe. Garcia and the team are also expected to meet with Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa.

“Moreover, this delegation is also expected to discuss prospects of soccer development with Hlongwane.

“This visit conveniently coincides with government’s adoption of the community sport and recreation club system which envisages the realisation of the ongoing initiative of establishing 8 000 soccer clubs across the country.

“Therefore, it is in this perspective that the expected exchange between the minister and the delegation led by Garcia is anticipated to ignite synergies of developing soccer in the country.

“This comes at a time government is putting in place efforts to lobby for strategic international partnership to assist Zimbabwe in setting up high performance academies.”

The statement added: “As well as complementing other government initiatives already in place to promote talent identification and development.

“The visit by these FC Barcelona legends is crucial as it rightfully resides in the ethos of the ministry of Sport and Recreation’s sport diplomacy programme.

“Moreover, this momentous visit by Garcia, Kluivert and Davids sets in a new precedence in terms of how soccer has become contextually-sensitive to the country’s accommodation for interfaces aimed at promoting the development of the sport and recreation sector.

“This follows the landmark visit to Zimbabwe by Fifa president Gianni Infantino early this year.”

It’s not the first time the trio have toured Africa as they have been to Uganda as well as Zambia among other countries where they pledged to set up football academies.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.