The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
REAL Betis Academy Zimbabwe chief executive officer and president, Gerald Sibanda has announced that a big partnership that should benefit Zimbabwean football is being concluded.
Sibanda arrived in Spain on Saturday for his first official visit to the Real Betis Balompie headquarters in Sevilla. He said a massive partnership to benefit Zimbabwean football should be announced in the coming days.
“We also have something exciting as far as Zimbabwean football is concerned, there is unveiling of a big partnership for Zimbabwean football that will be announced in the coming few days. Without sharing much, we wait for the finalisation of that deal to go through,’’ said Sibanda without getting much into the details.
Sibanda said the purpose of his visit is to have a look into the structures at the Spanish club and explore different opportunities for Zimbabwe.
“I arrived in Sevilla, Spain on Saturday, this is my official visit to Real Betis Balompie, obviously looking into the structures, seeing the different opportunities that come for our country Zimbabwe. The most important is the development of our football and the many opportunities that we going to create for Zimbabwe especially with the Real Betis brand and the Spanish La Liga brand,’’ he said.
Sibanda said the ultimate aim to have a Zimbabwean player make it into Spain top league, La Liga, something that has never happened before.
“Obviously it becomes a dream for all of us involved, to also see the first Zimbabwean player to play in La Liga Santander. We have never had any Zimbabwean player play in La Liga.
“We are looking to create as much opportunities as possible. From the Real Betis Academy point of view, its my official visit to have a look and see what opportunities we can look forward to in the coming season, we didn’t have as much activity in our first season but we still very optimistic about the future, I think it is important for us to put the structures,’’ said Sibanda.
Last year, Real Betis got into an agreement with Athletes Sphere Management, a company established by Sibanda to set up the first ever Betis academy on the African continent.