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The impact of Covid-19 on grassroots football in Zimbabwe

04 Apr 2021 at 19:11hrs | Views
Zimbabwe football as a whole has been in decline since the standard of living became unbearable as early as 2008 during Mugabe's era. 

The economic situation has also impacted on the key sporting sectors resulting in companies not sponsoring football at all as they could not afford to pay their own workers. 

Big companies like BAT, Caps Ltd, Blue Ribbon Foods, Tanganda Tea, Zisco Steel, just to mention a few used to sponsor football teams in the Premier League. 

Back then each team had a structure of reserves and junior teams who would play as curtain raisers before every league match or cup game. It was great for the youngsters and the fans as well to see their future talent while developing. 

The teams now rely on secondary schools and academies to develop football players in Zimbabwe. We at Zimbabwe Football Development Academy- Centre of Football Excellence 2014, have set the benchmark and hallmark of grassroots football since 2014. We currently cover 3 quaters of Zimbabwe schools and we are available in every province which is our vision that football, education and health must be available within close proximity of every child in Zimbabwe. 

The Corona Virus caused us to close the academy activities for 9 months last year and 3 months this year impacting on children's developing and mental health. As an academy we tried to stay in contact with children using whatsapp and social media platforms as a way of motivating them. 

We have finally opened and looking forward to having our first Football festival anytime this month. 

We are the only modern online ready academy and parents have been contacting us preparing for the end of pandemic.

I appeal to Zifa to financially support clubs and academies with Covid funds released by FIFA to all football associations. I would also urge Premier League to get all players and staff vaccinated before resuming the fixtures for this season. Weekly testing must be available and records kept when players are found to be Covid 19 positive must self isolate for ten days then retested before rejoining others. The next year's World Cup will be measured by the progress countries during the pandemic. 

Those nations not active in their leagues will suffer more at international competitions.

By Lord Morris Kakunguwo,Zimbabwe Football Philosopher, iTouch guru and founder of Zimbabwe Football Development Academy- Centre of Football Excellence 2014, FA Coach and Mentor. ®️💯🇿🇼⚽💉

Source - Lord Morris Kakunguwo
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