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Harare Government Wins Kudos From Soccer Fans for Bringing in Brazilians


Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and other top officials joined the thousands of soccer fans that thronged Harare's National Sports Stadium to witness the somewhat uneven contest

Zimbabwean soccer fans beat drums and blew vuvuzela horns welcoming the participation of the Brazilian Samba Boys in a friendly match with the Warriors at Harare's National Sports Stadium on Wednesday.

Some critics called it an expensive treat for a struggling country, but Zimbabweans loved the match between the Warriors and Brazil even though the Samba Kings romped 3-0.

The Zimbabwean government and corporate sponsors paid a reported US$1.2 million appearance fee to the Brazilians.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and other top officials joined the thousands of soccer fans that thronged the Harare stadium to witness the somewhat uneven contest.

The Warriors came close to scoring in the starting minutes of the game when striker Knowledge Musona launched a powerful header that Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar punched away.

But Brazil scored its first goal 40 minutes into the match, quickly adding another. Goal number three came in minute 54 as Elano Blummer capitalized on a pass from Julio Baptista.

Zimbabwe Football Association Competitions Manager Jonathan Musavengana told VOA Studio 7 reporter Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye he was pleased with the Warriors performance given that practice time for the game was short.

Soccer fan Kuda Sibanda of Harare said he was pleased the Government arranged the match and hopes to see further such initiatives to build the sport which has lost some of its sparkle in recent years in Zimbabwe.

Brazil left Harare for South Africa after the match, and will head to Tanzania for another friendly on Monday.

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