THE SAMBA CONNECTION

Innocent Kurira

REAL Betis Academy Zimbabwe chairman Gerald Sibanda says his recent meeting with the Ambassador of Brazil in Zimbabwe, Vilmar Coutinho Jnr, was meant to create football synergies between the country and the South American nation.

Sibanda says part of their discussion centred around the opening of football and sporting pathways between the people of Zimbabwe and Brazil.

 “Obviously, I am looking forward to strengthening my relations with the Brazilian community, football is their biggest sport.

“The aim is to open new doors, create synergies and improve on the already existing relations between the two nations using sport as a vehicle and a unifying force.

“He was also very pleased with the development of the three young Brazilian players I recruited for Yadah FC.

“The Ambassador is a big fan of football and showed great enthusiasm about the sporting sector as one of the most influential industries in the world.

“I was very honoured to engage with him and meet him. I look forward to establishing great projects with the people of Brazil in the same manner I have thrived with the Spanish people and the brand La Liga,” said Sibanda.

Yadah became the first local side to recruit Brazilian players after signing three footballers from the South American country.

Midfielders Pereira DeBrito Deivid (20), Luciano Farias Juan (21) and Marques Barcelos were handed two year contracts

Sibanda heads the Real Betis Academy in Zimbabwe.

The Real Betis Academy Zimbabwe initiative started in Harare in 2020 after the academy’s president Sibanda’s sports agency, Athletes Sphere Management, entered into a partnership with La Liga side Real Betis Balompie.

They went on to launch another centre in Bulawayo in March 2022.

 Already, more than 1 000 boys and girls outside of Spain have had the chance to train under the club’s methodology.

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