The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
MANICALAND Juniors of Excellence Academy are set to replace Harare-based Albun Academy in the Marvelous Nakamba Foundation Youth Invitational Tournament after the Zimbabwe Football Association decreed that only their affiliates can take part in the tourney.
Following approval by the Sports and Recreation Commission for the tournament to go ahead, Zifa communications and competitions manager, Xolisani Gwesela said only clubs affiliated to the football governing body will be allowed to take part.
Albun, owned by former Zimbabwe international, Alois Bunjira, was initially included in the list of teams taking part in the tournament but it later emerged they are not registered with Zifa.
Sources revealed the Foundation, who are organising the tournament, had opted for the Mutare-based side following Zifa’s announcement.
Efforts to get a comment from the organisers where fruitless although a flyer indicated teams will be unveiled during a launch scheduled for Friday, where a draw will also be conducted.
The launch will also witness the unveiling of the kits sourced by the foundation.
Other teams billed to take part in the tourney, featuring Under-17 players, include Highlanders, Dynamos, Njube Spurs, Hwange Dynamo, Bulawayo City, Ajax Hot Spurs and Chicken Inn.
According to a flyer the tournament will be held behind closed doors at White City and Luveve Stadiums with action being streamed on the foundation’s social media pages.
The tournament, a brainchild of English Premier League’s Aston Villa midfielder, Marvelous Nakamba is scheduled for 19 and 20 June.
Nakamba said he hopes the tournament will raise the curtain to the commencement of junior football in the country, which has been on hold for more than a year and six months, due to Covid-19 restrictions.