The Footballers Union of Zimbabwe have targeted addressing the scourge of drug and alcohol abuse by local players when they hold this year’s edition of the Out of Contract players training camp in Harare and Bulawayo.
The union’s president, Desmond Maringwa, yesterday acknowledged that drug abuse is becoming a big challenge which needed urgent attention.
The first week-long, programme will kick off in Harare next Tuesday at Motor Action Sports Club under the tutelage of former Dynamos and national team coach Callisto Pasuwa.
Former Warriors players Joel Luphahla and Dazzy Kapenya will take over the programme in Bulawayo at the Heath Streak Academy from January 16-20.
“For this year the main emphasis of the discussions will be on stopping drug abuse as the union has noted with great concern, the increase in drug abuse by players both male and female.
These findings came to the attention of the union during the annual club visits where players revealed the increased use of ‘bronco’, ‘diazepam’ and other drugs.
So the union wants to take this opportunity to raise awareness on the effects of drug abuse and instigate behaviour change in players.
“There will be the use of the Z-Card in the discussions which is a practical leaflet that players can carry in their pockets, but contains everything they need to know about their profession with emphasis on reminding them of their rights and duties as professional players,” said Maringwa.
High quality training sessions have been designed to enhance physical abilities, develop and increase tactical as well as technical skills and to achieve the harmony necessary to perform at the highest level of football.
For the 2018 programme, players will be offered a comprehensive training programme which will conclude with friendly matches on the last day.
Coaches from different clubs in the Premier Soccer League and the Division One are set to attend as out of contract players are presented with the platform to impress.
“A number of stakeholders in the football fraternity will be given a platform to address players on contract negotiation, various contractual obligations, health and hygiene, expectations of referees and people from the media will talk to them on the face of football from the media’s angle.
“The FUZ team will address players on matters to do with contractual issues, relationship between a club and a player, contract negotiation skills and litigation issues.
With better funding FUZ wishes to take this to all regions to ensure the every player from all regions gets a chance to showcase talent and be scouted. The training program is free for all professional players as this is a FUZ initiative.” The Herald