TEAM Zimbabwe UK which landed in the country today for a Diaspora Football Home Coming Tour says it is here to help promote Zimbabwe as a beautiful tourist destination.
The Diaspora Football Home Coming Tour is a collaboration between Team Zimbabwe UK, Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) and Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA).
Speaking at a press conference, Team Zimbabwe UK chief executive officer Marshall Gore said while they are going to be playing football, they will also take time to take pictures and videos of attraction sites to help market the country.
“We are here also to promote our country and support the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry and ZTA by visiting tourist resorts and show those that are in the Diaspora that Zimbabwe is a beautiful country where you can go tour and enjoy.
“So whilst we are playing football we shall also be touring some resorts time permitting so that we can show to the world around us that our country is beautiful and showcase it. We will go to places and take pictures, do a documentary that we will be showing perhaps when we go back on how beautiful Zimbabwe is so please when you see us support the idea,” he said.
Speaking at the occasion ZTA corporate communication and industry relations manager Hazel Zisanhi who was standing in the for acting chief executive Rita Likukuma, welcomed the touring team and urged them to be ambassadors for destination Zimbabwe.
“We are pleased to have you, we hope you will fully enjoy your stay in Zimbabwe, our country is truly beautiful and I know that when you go back home most of you are on social media platforms please take that opportunity to market our country because when we are here see you as our tourism ambassadors so please take lots of pictures, lots of messages and send on all your platforms,” she said.
Zisanhi added that although Zimbabwe has some of the 7 wonders of the world such as the mighty Victoria Falls, it also has its own 7 wonders which include the country’s beautiful rich history, culture and its people among many others.
She said the coming of the Team Zimbabwe UK is a clear testimony that people in the Diaspora have not forgotten about their country and culture.
“I understand you are going to visit great Zimbabwe so when you go back home talk about these things that you have seen and all the people.
“And we are very thankful that you are here and it shows that people in the Diaspora have not forgotten about their own country so all I can say is welcome to Zimbabwe we do hope you will enjoy the warmth and the hospitality that Zimbabweans have to offer,” said Zisanhi.
Some of the players who are part of the Team Zimbabwe UK have come to Zimbabwe for the first time while some left the country when they were as young as five years old.
According to Gore some the soccer players in the team have already attracted attention from the England national team scouts but they have however committed to play for Zimbabwe.
He said they felt that it’s important for them to integrate the players and get them to know the country at this stage rather than to wait when they are playing for big teams such as Manchester United.
Gore added that “what is important is the love for the country, the love for the country comes first then football comes second.
“If you don’t love Zimbabwe and sure you will not be able to play for Zimbabwe but these young men have committed themselves to play for Zimbabwe at the expense of UK,” he said.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs also took the opportunity to welcome the team adding that they are part of Zimbabwe and sport is helping to connect them with the home.