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Zimbabwe to benefit on Barca deal

by Sports Reporter
24 Apr 2013 at 04:23hrs | Views
LAUSANNE - ZIMBABWE are set to be among the 23 beneficiaries of a groundbreaking agreement between Spanish soccer giants Barcelona and the International Olympic Committee which will help to groom and nurture young, talented African footballers.

FC Barcelona president Sandro Rosell met with Jacques Rogge, president of the IOC, last Wednesday afternoon in Lausanne, Switzerland, to sign an agreement between the IOC and the FC Barcelona Foundation. Ramon Pont, vice-president of the Foundation, was also in attendance.

This is the first time the IOC have signed an agreement with a sports club's foundation. The project will the lay the groundwork for the "Olympafrica FutbolNet Cup", a group of tournaments in Africa for children between the ages of 12 and 15.

The Olympafrica FutbolNet Cup will be based on FC Barcelona Foundation's FutbolNet project, which aims to instill and encourage positive values through football.

These tournaments will be hosted at Oympafrica International Foundation's 26 centers, which span 23 countries, and will kick off this year.

The organisation, which was founded by the IOC, works to spread the Olympic spirit throughout the continent and encourage social development through sport.

Rosell said: "We are grateful to the IOC for the confidence that they've shown in the Foundation"

He also thanked the IOC and its president, Rogge, for "the confidence shown in the FC Barcelona Foundation to carry out this project. It's a great honour for our club to be able to contribute and encourage the values of sport."

Rogge stated that the alliance with the FC Barcelona Foundation will "give many children of many African countries, and their communities, the chance to practice sport in order to strengthen and improve human development. I would like to thank the FC Barcelona Foundation for their support and for their willingness to share their valuable experience in this regard."

Each "Olympafrica FutbolNet Cup" tournament will host approximately 3 000 children, which means that the overall project will reach approximately 78 000 children.

During the month of May there will be two workshops, one in Barcelona and another in Burundi, where "Olympafrica FutbolNet Cup" organisers will learn the methodology employed by FutbolNet. Additional workshops are scheduled to take place in June. The project will be deployed in the following countries: Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Lesotho, Eritrea, Seychelles, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Guinea Bissau, Swaziland, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Mauritius, Senegal, Niger, Cameroon, Tanzania, Chad, Mail, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The methodology of FC Barcelona Foundation's FutbolNet aims to educate children through positive values derived from playing football.

The football employed in FutbolNet has some very special rules, as the goal is not to win but to learn the following concepts: commitment, respect, tolerance, team work, responsibility and effort. For example, there is no referee, but a "teamer", a moderator whose purpose is to guide the game.

Also, the winning team isn't the one with the most goals; rather, the winners are the ones who best applied the values of the sport to the game. FutbolNet sessions are divided up into three distinct sections: a discussion before the match where participants decide on the rules and which concept should be worked; a football match, and then a post-match discussion where the behaviour of the participants is evaluated.

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