Allen Khumalo, Sports Reporter
ZIFA has lashed out at the unsanctioned presence of a French soccer scout, Yanick Salomon, who is in the country for a week-long scouting mission of young footballers.
This comes after reports that Salomon, in conjunction with the Harare-based Friendly Academy and the Associated Foods Zimbabwe, entered into a partnership with a French-based FootBreizh Academie aimed at exporting local talent to France.
Salomon, a director of FootBreizh Academie, and Friendly Academy technical director Patridge Muskwe are said to be overseeing the young footballers during their trial period, which started on Wednesday at Harare’s Raylton Sports Club.
Those that make the grade might see themselves going to Europe for an exchange programme in October.
Muskwe is also a former national Under-17 coach.
In a statement, Zifa said the Frenchman has no authority to conduct any football business in the country without its approval.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association has noted with displeasure, the unsanctioned presence in the country of Yanick Salomon, from France. We understand that Salomon is scouting for talent in the country at the invitation of Friendly Academy. Zifa would like to categorically state that Salomon has no authority to conduct any football business without the approval of Zifa. We would like to reiterate that Zifa as the mother body is in charge of all organised football and will not hesitate to invoke football statutes on anyone who transgresses against our statutes,” read the Zifa statement.
The football body said it wants to safeguard minors from potential exploitation and abuse.
“In a bid to maintain our standards, no one is allowed to conduct any scouting or football related activities in the country without approval from Zifa. The association’s major concern in this case is safeguarding minors from potential exploitation and abuse. It is Zifa’s mandate to ensure that minors are not trafficked to foreign clubs,” Zifa said.
Efforts to get a comment from Muskwe were fruitless as his mobile phone was not reachable.