Harare-based WorldWide Scholarships (WWS) have reached an agreement with European soccer powerhouse AC Milan in a deal that would see the academy recruit young players from Southern Africa for the former Italian champions.
The academy will help recruit children for the club’s Continental Cup, regarded as one of the biggest international youth soccer tournaments in the world.
WWS president Munya Maraire, who signed the deal in the United States on Monday, expressed gratitude that his organisation had clinched such a big partnership.
“It is an honour to partner with some of the greatest sporting brands in the world and I feel this is going to be an incredible tool for talent-scouting and development across the southern part of Africa.
“I am humbled that our organisation is at the forefront of such an initiative,” said Maraire.
“It is my desire to see more of our African children reach greater heights in soccer. It is also great to see that these opportunities can open doors to a club that has moulded the careers of world footballers such as David Beckham, Clarence Seedorf, Andriy Shevchenko, Paolo Maldini, Ronaldinho and Filippo Inzaghi,” added Maraire.
WWS says they would recruit players from countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Swaziland, Botswana, Mauritius, Lesotho, Angola, Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique and Namibia.
Maraire said they would invite high school teams from these countries to participate in the four-day soccer festival to take place from June 30 ending on July 3 in Harare.
Children from the age of nine to 19 would be eligible to participate in the festival that would be attended by representatives from AC Milan and other top European scouts.
The AC Milan Continental Cup is also associated with many international agents, sporting brands and recruiting partners which include Adidas, Cleveland Indians, Cavaliers and Hard Rock International.
Countries that have participated in the festival in the past include the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Barbados, England, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore.