A delegation from Spanish giants Atletico Madrid has concluded their two day-visit to Port Elizabeth where they had first-hand experience of the poor football facilities in the Nelson Mandela Metro.
They also signed a lucrative business deal with Absa Premiership club Chippa United which will be a launch pad for football development in the country.
These includes building a soccer academy in the province and an exchange programme between the two clubs.
Nokhwezi Primary School in Uitenhage is the first school to benefit from the partnership with Madrid. It donated football and netball gear to the school.
But various sports fields need major facelifts in order for football to be developed.
Athletico Madrid representative, Maria Chiviri, says, “South Africa is a great country. We want to make a difference in this country and football is the answer to fight injustice. This country has a great history and we couldn’t ignore South Africa and discussions have gone very well and we are still going to engage even further.”
Atletico Madrid has one of the biggest soccer academies in the world.
They have committed to invest in infrastructure for development and two sport fields will also receive major facelifts in Walmer.
Chippa United Chairman, Chippa Mpengesi, says, “We are very happy with the discussions. We, as officials, will travel to Spain in the next months to finish off the negotiations. We want to give back to communities and create jobs for the people. We are very happy with the process of developing football in our region.”
It’s a dream come true for these youngsters who are not used to proper facilities.
Soccer player, Siphuxolo Nelani, says, “We are very happy as our standard of football will improve. At least business people will not recognise our talent and take it further.”
The Spanish giants also aim to identify raw talent in disadvantaged communities for further development.
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