espanyolSpanish La Liga outfit, Espanyol, are highly likely to come to Zimbabwe on a week-long tour during which they are set to play friendly matches against two Premiership sides as part of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority’s destination rebranding programme.

Espanyol FC are city rivals to Barcelona and currently lying ninth on the La Liga log table.

The visit has been scheduled for end of May and beginning of June and will include a visit to the majestic Victoria Falls.

Espanyol FC Marketing director Antoni Alegre Puzo confirmed the visit saying the team would play two matches in Harare and Bulawayo.

The 45-member delegation will be made up of first team players, management and Espanyol club president Joan Collet.

“We have heard much about Zimbabwe and we want to visit the country particularly the Victoria Falls during the off season. Efforts are in place to ensure that the entire first team travels to Zimbabwe,” he said.

ZTA chief executive Mr Karikoga Kaseke and two officials from Zifa and the Premier Soccer League are expected in Spain in February to attend one of Espanyol home matches and tie the lose ends.

“We have agreed that Espanyol RCD football club will visit Zimbabwe in May/June this year. During their tour they will play friendly matches with Dynamos in Harare and Highlanders in Bulawayo. They then will travel to Victoria Falls before flying back to their base in Spain,” he said.

Kaseke also revealed that the tourism body is also engaging in talks with current European champions Real Madrid for a possible visit to Zimbabwe next year.

“We are also still courting reigning European champions Real Madrid to visit Zimbabwe also. We have already met their representatives who told us that they are fully booked for the 2015. They have however told us to submit a proposal for 2016.

“Sure we can meet their monetary demands but they advised us to launch our bid on social responsibility, fan base and impact of the visit on the nation.

The invitation must be submitted before end of September with an outcome expected in December,” Kaseke said.

From : All Africa

3 February 2015