National Soccer Team and FAZ Super League sponsor MTN Zambia has called on all soccer stakeholders to help nurture young talent if Zambia is to remain a top footballing country.
This came to light when MTN Zambia and the Football Association of Zambia donated soccer balls to Nkwazi Youth and Twapia Gunners Soccer academies in Ndola today.
“Zambia has never been short of players. What we need to invest in is a well-structured system that helps nurture young talent. This investment must not be left to the Football Association of Zambia alone but all interested parties as well. MTN Zambia will continue to use its leadership position to help develop local football at various levels,” said MTN Zambia CEO Charles Molapisi.
He further implored MTN FAZ Super League clubs to establish youth structures in order to sustain their squads. He said every club must have a deliberate sustainable youth development programme from which it can draw its future team.
Mr. Molapisi encouraged other corporate institutions to partner with local Super League clubs describing the venture as beneficial to both the companies and the clubs.
“The MTN FAZ Super League is competitive. Every match-day, crowds fill up stadia while games are also broadcast across the continent. Despite being a corporate social investment issue, companies stand a lot to benefit by associating themselves with Zambia’s number one passion; football,” he said.
Mr. Molapisi said this in a speech read for him by MTN Mobile Money National Manager Wane Ng’ambi.
And Chipolopolo striker Collins Mbesuma advised the children from the two academies to be disciplined if they are to make it in life.
“Stay away from bad things if you want to make it. I started my career without any soccer boots. My friends used to call me Barefoot but I wasn’t disturbed. The most important thing is to be disciplined. Stay away from beer, drugs and listen to your parents,” said Mbesuma.
Meanwhile, MTN Zambia Chief Executive Officer Charles Molapisi has congratulated the Chipolopolo Boys for their victory against Sudan and wished them well in their reverse fixture in Ndola on Sunday.
Mr. Molapisi said Zambia has a talented squad and experienced technical bench to qualify the team to the 2018 World Cup Finals in Russia.
He urged the MTN FAZ Super league players drafted in the squad to take advantage of the opportunity saying it is their gateway to international recognition.
“While we would like to see our local players remain in Zambia to help develop the local league, we feel it is important that they get international exposure to add to both their lives and that of Zambian football. FAZ President Kalusha Bwalya is a perfect example of how one local player can go on to become Africa’s best player before coming back home to share his international experience to the benefit of the country,” he said.
MTN has been sponsoring the Super League and the Senior National Team since 2010. During this period, the local league has become competitive and is watched across Africa while the Chipolopolo Boys have lifted the 2012 Afcon and 2013 COSAFA Cups.