Chipo Sabeta and Daphne Machiri
HIGHLY acclaimed Zimbabwean FIFA football agent and intermediary Ellen Chiwenga says she is ready to help Zimbabwe unlock the huge economic opportunities that are abound in the football industry.
Chiwenga, who has vast experience at international level, said football is not only a community-building sport but also a major economic contributor to most Western football loving nations.
The UK-based agent said she is ready to open doors for Zimbabwe in developing the discipline and also making it a major economic contributor through her European contacts.
Chiwenga was recently handed the role of Brand Ambassador for the Pakistan based FC Karachi to help unlock the European market for the Asian country and is hoping to do the same with her mother country. It is evident that Zimbabwe is a football-loving nation and very much passionate about the sport with some Zimbabwean players getting signed by Premier League Clubs in Europe over the last 30 years since Bruce Grobbelaar and Peter Ndlovu showed the way in the 1980s and 90’s.
“Whilst there are no Zimbabwean signees for the big European clubs,the local players are emerging as real contenders within Africa in recent years,”she said.
She also said it is possible for Zimbabwe to successfully bid for the Africa Cup of Nations in the near future.
“With the rationale of nurturing the current interest in African football and the growth of the sport internationally, at the same time as seeking to reap the benefits of football’s impact on economies, this proposal seeks to bring a major Premiership Football Tournament to Zimbabwe in the near future, “she said.
Whilst it is feasible, there is no doubt in the enormous pressure in hosting such a major tournament but the benefits of bringing such a game to Zimbabwe.
The impending World Cup is perhaps the most lucrative of all the sporting events around the world due to its ability to unite people of all social classes at national level.
According to FIFA, the 2014 qualifying rounds and final tournament of the World Cup brought in $4,8 billion over four years and, after expenditure, FIFA made a profit of more than $2 billion.
“Currently it is mostly the major European League Clubs that have been the beneficiary of these games, much more so than those of the Global South, whose undisputed talent and passion are evidently less rewarded,” she exclusively revealed.
Chiwenga said her the aim of her vision and plans is to highlight the benefits of such a tournament in a host country which promote sports tourism, and to encourage governments of African nations to support such a strategies, aimed at recognition of Africa’s readiness to move to the next level in “cashing in” on the sport to benefit its citizens.
“Our vision of the tournament in Zimbabwe is not of the same scale, it does however highlight the huge economic benefits to any host nation,” she added.
“In terms of Social and Economic Benefits are World television coverage of Zimbabwe ,increased direct and Indirect foreign investments to Country as have also talked to other sponsors and various companies whom are so interested in coming to Zimbabwe with me, it will also increase tourist Inflow, boosting spending ,building communities, opportunity to create history, increase in Gross Domestic Product through micro enterprises and increased production, sponsorship deals for the economy, increased Tax Revenue Collection,” said Chiwenga .