A high level training by FC Barcelona youth coaches has taken off in Lusaka with 220 children between six and 16 years undergoing a two weeks coaching clinic.
The FC Barcelona trio of Aldric Miro, Albert Tatarci and Guillem Nogueras led 150 children drawn across Lusaka on a pay-to-attend basis while 70 slots have been given to youths from a disadvantaged background who are attending for free.
On Monday, the coaches spread the children in groups across six streams under labels Team Messi, Iniesta, Pique, Busquets, Suarez and Mascherano at a session at the International School of Lusaka grounds.
The coaching clinic is a prelude to the launch of the first Barcelona Academy in Southern Africa.
Some local coaches have also been incorporated in the program to augment the work of the Barcelona coaches.
Barcelona has academies in Egypt and Nigeria with Zambia becoming the third spot on the continent.
Zambia is getting a look-in on the background of an impressive run in youth structures including a FIFA World Cup quarter final at U-20 level.
A mega million academy is under construction where the academy will be housed with two seven aside pitches and four facilities for five aside.
The football side of the facility will take off on November 19 while the full facility will come full stream in December.
Once the two-week clinic is done there will be a recommendation to the FC Barcelona board on the viability of the Zambian project.
FAZ vice president Rix Mweemba and Head of Competition Julio Chiluba were at the pitch to witness the launch.
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Sources: Football Association of Zambia (FAZ)