Tourism minister Walter Mzembi confirmed that the Brazilian national team is coming to Zimbabwe for a friendly match. Mzembi was part of a task force mandated with luring brand teams to Zimbabwe.
“Brazil is very welcome to a hospitable extravaganza they have never experienced,” he said.
Last week the Zimbabwe Independent reported that the Brazilians were asking for a £1,3 million appearance fee, which Mzembi described as “exorbitant” then. However, the minister yesterday said the figure was now “substantially lower”, without disclosing figures. The appearance of the Brazilians was bankrolled by CBZ Bank, NetOne and Zimplats. The government chipped in with 40% of the amount.
Zifa chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya said it took a lot for the match to become a reality.
“We made endless efforts to have one big participant to play in Zimbabwe and met with the Brazilian president about our request. Many Portuguese-speaking nations wanted to host the team but we won. The world’s most renowned players will make an appearance.”
Brazil’s ambassador Raul de Taunay said: “I am very happy Zimbabwe players are very good and they like football. This is an immense victory for Zimbabwe, especially for the people who deal with soccer. I congratulate Zimbabwe authorities and Brazil for making such a decision.”
Paul Lasegang, an agent with Kentaro, the organisers of the Brazil friendly, said the South Americans would arrive on Tuesday and the game will be played the following day at 3.30pm at the National Sports Stadium. The gates will open at 08.00am.
The team will be coming from South Africa. Lasegang said the gate charges will be affordable.