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Grobbelaar back between goalposts


AT 60, Warriors and Liverpool legendary goalkeeper, Bruce Grobbelaar will put on his football boots once again and play for the Matabeleland Select team in the Confederation of Independent Football Associations (Conifa) Paddy Power World Football Cup that started in London on Thursday.


This was confirmed by the Conifa Africa director, Justin Walley yesterday on the micro-blogging site Twitter.

“We are delighted to announce that @LFC legend Bruce Grobbelaar has joined the @MatabelFootball World Cup squad and will play for our team during the World Cup! Bruce will once again lace up his boots and come out of playing retirement, aged 60,” Walley said.

Grobbelaar, now based in Canada, joined up with the Matabeleland Select team, which is led by Busani Sibindi, who fronts a non-governmental organisation dubbed the Matabeleland Football Confederacy, which is affiliated to Conifa, an organisation that represents states and regions that are not affiliated to Fifa.

A charismatic goalkeeper in his heyday, Grobbelaar played for Highlanders locally.

The Matabeleland Select team arrived in London on Tuesday for the tournament, which will end next Saturday.

However, it could not be ascertained which players and how many make up the team that is to feature in the competition against other teams that are not members of Fifa.

Walley and Paddy Power were in the country, Matabeleland in particular, in April to drum up support for the team and at the time, Grobbelaar had been said he would be the goalkeepers’ coach and brand ambassador for Matabeleland Select team.

The Conifa World Football Cup features 16 teams that include Matabeleland Select, Abkhazia, Bawara, Cascadia, Ellan Vannin, Felvidek, Kabylia, Northern Cyprus, Padania, Panjab, Székely Land, Tamil Eelam, Tibet, Tuvalu, United Koreans in Japan and Western Amenia.

The sponsor of the tournament Paddy Power is an online betting giant, who have set their sights on global success of the rather unpopular event to be held in London ahead of the Fifa World Cup to be held in Russia from June 14 to July 15.

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