Academies hard hit by Zifa ban

22 Mar, 2022 - 10:03 0 Views
Academies hard hit by Zifa ban Since the country was banned from the international football stage by Zifa, it's not business as usual for local academies. (Africasafootball)

B-Metro

Raymond Jaravaza

FOOTBALL academies are the conveyor belt of the soccer ecosystem, feeding players into professional clubs yet local academies are in a predicament of their own.

Since the country was banned from the international football stage by Zifa, it’s not business as usual for local academies.

Bulawayo boasts of a number of academies from the Biya and Friends outfit, the Nkulumane 12 Academy to the Zebra Revolution based in Tshabalala suburb.

Zebra Revolution is owned by former Highlanders striker Mkhokheli Dube while Biya and Friends was established by another Bosso son Thulani ‘Biya’ Ncube.

Nkulumane 12 Academy founder Thulani Sihlabo said academies would find it hard to stay motivated when their players are not allowed to join foreign clubs.

Under the current ban, Zimbabwean players cannot sign with foreign clubs, the country is cut off from FIFA funding.

“Successful academies are known for producing players that can compete in top clubs around the world but we find ourselves in a situation where our boys will be stuck here in Zim no matter how good they are.

“We have two of our boys that were supposed to go to South Africa for trials but that’s not going to happen as long as the ban stays in force,” said Sihlabo.

Gerald Sibanda, a Harare-based businessman whose sports consultancy struck a deal with Spanish football club Real Betis also raised his concerns.

“Exchange programmes with Real Betis are supposed to benefit our local boys in Europe but we can’t make a move as things stand,” said Sibanda.

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