HARARE – Zimbabwe’s tourism body is trying to woo international soccer teams that qualify for the 2010 World Cup to be hosted in South Africa to consider setting their training camps in the country come June next year.
Speaking at a media briefing last week Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) boss Karikoga Kaseke said even though there were strong indications that European soccer giants England are inclined to be based in Zimbabwe, the Fabio Capello-coached team is yet to confirm whether it will stay in the country.
“England have already indicated that Zimbabwe is their first preference while Ireland and South Korea have both made strong indications that they are interested in coming to the country,” said Kaseke.
Kaseke also added that the Polish soccer team has already indicated that they will be based in Zimbabwe.
However it is the English soccer team – the Three Lions – who are expected to be followed by over 35 000 supporters that the country aims to entice into coming to Zimbabwe.
“We need the British more than we need any other team and we have talked to the vice president of the English Football Association over the matter,” Kaseke said.
Despite political differences between Harare and its former colonial power Britain over the past decade, England continues to provide the highest number of tourists to the southern African country which is slowly on the mend thanks to the formation of a coalition government last February.
According to Kaseke, South American soccer giants Brazil are also interested in coming to Zimbabwe whose facilities are second to World Cup hosts South Africa in the southern African region - The Zimbabwean