TEAM Zimbabwe UK, a diaspora football initiative which is composed mainly of Zimbabwean citizens living in the United Kingdom (UK) and around the world has been crowned champions of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) games played in London.
According to Team Zimbabwe UK chief executive officer Marshall Gore, the victory comes after about 10 years of waiting, trying and not giving up.
“A huge thank you to those who believe that the dream is on, thank you to all the players, coaches and supporters for showing such pride and commitment to our country,” he said.
The win by the team is a welcome development in soccer as it will give local football fans something to smile about following the Warriors poor showing in Egypt where they failed to win a single match while settling for a draw as their best.
Referring to Team Zimbabwe UK, Gore added that “you are the breath of fresh air which the country’s football brand needs right now. You brought joy to us all and we are so proud of you all”.
The idea behind the Team Zimbabwe UK initiative is helping showcase Zimbabwean football talent that is largely hidden in the diaspora so as to feed into the national team the Warriors.
Warriors technical team has generally not been able to go abroad to assess raw Zimbabwe talent owing to lack of resources and the diaspora football initiative is seen as a step in the right direction in terms of showcasing that talent.
Team Zimbabwe UK was also in the country where they played some soccer matches in Harare and Gweru with Premier Soccer League teams as well as other reserve sides.
The team is also working with Zimbabwe Tourism Authority as destination ambassador and when they came to the country in May this year they toured various tourist sites where they shot videos and pictures to use in promoting the country as a safe tourist destination.
The team is highly expected to come back for another tour next year.