THE Ministry of Sport and Recreation, ZIFA and private players are working on a funding structure that will bring Barcelona Legends to play the Warriors in the first week of November.
Barcelona Legends captain Patrick Kluivert and the team’s representative Rayco Garcia got the nod from the Government on Friday to host the blockbuster match.
The former players, together with former Barca and Juventus midfielder Edgar Davids, arrived in the country on Thursday evening.
They then met Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday at his offices and presented Barcelona shirts for the First Family. On Saturday they had a chance to meet President Mugabe in Gwanda when they attended the Presidential Youth interface rally.
Kluivert and Davids have already left while Garcia is still in the country for the next two weeks working with the ministry as well as his local representative Tich Mawone on the modalities of the match.
And yesterday, Sport and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane said they have tied all loose ends of the deal with the Barcelona Legends.
Hlongwane added that the match would be staged the first week of November, and as part of promoting the game, and Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho would be coming here next month.
“We will work on a structure to cater for the costs. The minister is working on the funding structure for the match, working with ZIFA, private players and the legends.
“We agreed to mount a series of promotional events to promote the match before it happens. As part of those events to promote the game, Ronaldinho will be coming in September. We agreed on a tournament between Barcelona Legends and the Warriors, the first week of November in Harare.
“ZIFA will operationalise on which team will play on the day. They are responsible for the technical side of the game ,” said Hlongwane. The Minister said the tour by the legends is part of Sports Commission policy which has a key component of sports diplomacy.
“We are doing this within our policy guideline which has two critical points that is sport diplomacy, to reach out to communities through the world, through sport as well as sports tourism – a strong way of promoting culture to visit Zimbabwe.
“This will assist those who don’t have an interest or didn’t know about the country,” said Hlongwane.