Nearly one year after its postponement due to the Covid-19 pandemic Warriors and Aston Villa’s midfielder Marvellous Nakamba’s youth football tournament is now finally set to take place next month (June).
Launched last year in May through his Marvellous Nakamba Foundation (MNF) the Under-17 tournament is scheduled to happen at the White City Stadium in Bulawayo from 11 to 12 June.
This was confirmed in a poster seen by Nehanda Radio on Tuesday, although efforts to get an official comment from members of the MNF were fruitless.
This will be the inaugural edition of the much anticipated Nakamba annual youth football tournament following its suspension last year in July owing to the government efforts to try and curb the spread of the Covid-19 infections.
However, there are chances that the tournament will take place this year due to a decrease in Covid-19 cases and deaths.
At the same time, this also is backed by the government’s decision to relax some of the implemented lockdown rules including giving a waiver to other contact sporting disciplines (football).
ZIFA Acting Chief Executive Officer, Xolisani Gwesela confirmed the football tournament has been cleared to happen in Bulawayo.
Gwesela insisted and emphasised that the organisers of the tournamemt must adhere to the Covid-19 protocols put in place by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the government.
“Yes I confirm that the tournament was cleared and is set to take place on the scheduled dates,” said Gwesela.
“Organizers of the football tournament are urged to adhere to strict Covid-19 protocols as ordered to by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the government,” he further told Nehanda Radio.
Unconfirmed information indicates the invitational tournament will host eight teams including developmental sides from the country’s two giant clubs Dynamos and Highlanders FC as it was previously arranged when the tournament was launched.
Other teams that were initially invited to participate were Njube Spurs, Hwange Dynamo, Albun Academy, Bulawayo City, Ajax Hot Spurs and Chicken Inn.
Its not clear whether MNF will maintain the invitational tournament as an eight sides competition or there will be some additional teams also set to take part in the two day inaugural event.
Prizes for the winners are also not yet known, nevertheless, the budding footballers will do whatever it takes to try and showcase their talent in front of Nakamba who is presently in the country for the off season break and is highly likely set to be present.
Despite his presence the competition is set to attract various scouts dotted around the globe including those from Europe as initially said by the Hwange born star who was quoted in a story published by the Herald last year in July.
“There will be scouts from Europe, and a few talented youngsters will be presented with an opportunity, to go for training camps in Europe,” the ex-Bantu Rovers star told the publication.
“Our foundation leverages the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilise at-risk youth to overcome their greatest challenges that we are facing now, which is drug indulgence, and also crime, and be agents for change in their communities.”