Zifa urged to invest in grassroots development

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Fifa technical development officer Govinden Thondoo has urged Zifa to invest more on grassroots football development if they are to realise their dream of competing at international events like the World Cup.

Thondoo said this during the launch of a grassroots coaching course reception that was held at Prince Edward School on Thursday.

The Mauritanian, who will be conducting the 10-day-long coaching course which is set to attract 60 local coaches and targeting children of ages from 6-12 years, revealed that Fifa has set aside a $60 000 budget for the project as the world football governing body continues to show their commitment in supporting Zimbabwe football.

“The only way football in the country can improve is to invest in grassroots development. All the countries that are doing well in the continent and around the word have strong development projects.

“This is a good start for Zifa, but they cannot go it alone. They need support from the government, non-governmental organisations, coaches, parents, schools teachers and even the children themselves.

“All these need to collaborate for the benefit and good of football in the country. If you decide to ignore this important stage of a player development, football at every level will definitely suffer. You need to have a solid foundation where the kids learn all the aspects of the game, where they are developed, polished and taught all the technical facets of the game.

“This should not end with this launch, but there should be some follow-ups with some medium-term plans. All the other parts of the country should also be involved; the philosophy should spread around the country. With such kind of programmes, the country is assured of doing well in future competitions, you can never go wrong,” said Thondoo.

The launch was officially opened by Zimbabwe Olympic chief executive officer Stanley Mutoya.
Mutoya said:

“I take great interest and reserve immense respect for the role that grassroot sport development plays in the development of the game of football the world over. The most formidable footballing nations and clubs the world over never overlook grassroot development. I commend Zifa for going back to the basics and no doubt the results are guaranteed in the long term. Everyone has a significant role to play in setting up the structures, programmes, infrastructure, events, tournaments but above all, setting aside time for properly planned grassroots football development activities in a sustainable and long-term manner,”

Among the guests at the launch were Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze, technical director Nigel Matongorere, Zifa technical adviser Klaus Pagels, NAPH chairman Charles Mthethwa and Zimbabwe Junior football league chairman Zivanai Chiyangwa.