The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network, Breaking News Tanzania

Arusha Hitch-hiker’s guide to the Soccer Galaxy in Madrid

A teenager from Arusha who has been hitch-hiking his way from the village to the local soccer academy in the city is on his way to become a professional soccer player, fielding for European teams.

The Young Tanzanian soccer player, Razack Bashiri aged only 17, has just flown from Arusha to Madrid, for trials at the Spanish Football Institute.

Razack, who was being groomed at the Future Stars Academy (FSA), was selected during the East Africa Youth Soccer Tourney, known as Chipkiz Cup usually held in Arusha every December.

He will be practicing in Spain for two weeks.

The young footballer hails from Milongo area, very far from the urban center and used to hitch-hike his way from the village to the sporting institute in Arusha City.

“Razack essentially is on the fast track to play in major European Leagues,” said the Director of Future Stars Academy, Alfred Itaeli.

According to Itaeli, the Future Stars Academy has already produced an international footballer, Novatus Dismas Miroshi, again from Arusha who started off in Belgium but now plays in Ukraine, fielding for Shakhtar Donetsk.

Novatus, a professional soccer player, also fields for the Tanzania National team, the Taifa Stars.

Now from the Chipkiz Cup outfit, Tanzania has just produced a new candidate for international sporting events.

The country was among the three countries that has produced qualified young footballers for soccer trials in Spain.

“I am overwhelmed, this is my first international trip abroad,” said Razack.

The 24 youth soccer candidates were chosen from Tanzania, Kenya and Zimbabwe teams.

Apart from Razack from (FSA) Tanzania, others are Blessed Maposa and Mafios Chihweta from PE Academy of Zimbabwe.

They happened to be part of the 28 young soccer players that displayed remarkable skills during the previously held East Africa Youth Soccer Tourney, the Chipkiz Cup 2022 held in Arusha.

During the annual tourney, soccer agents from Spain, including the National Spanish League (LaLiga) and Spanish Football Institute (FSI), attended the feat in Tanzania to scout for new talents from East Africa.

The Spanish scouts who were in Arusha for the games included the FSI Director Pablo Verdejo who was attending Chipkizi Cup, to mainly recruit new players who will be taken on special sponsorship for sports trials in Spain.

Among the recruits were six players from Azam FC, Five from Fountain Gate of Dodoma, 4 players from Eclat FC from DR Congo, 3 players from the Future Stars Academy of Arusha, 3 players from Saint Soccer of Kenya, 2 players from Amarigo of Uganda and 2 players from JKU of Zanzibar.

While a total of 24 young soccer players were recruited for the journey to Madrid, only six have managed to fly to Spain so far.

According to Itaeli, players that have flown to Spain are those from Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Kenyan envoys have not been able to travel due to some problems related with Visa, which means they may travel later this year or early 2024.

Kenya, on the other hand, is sending to Spain three young soccer players in the persons of Charles Junior, Adrian Orig and Chori Choul from A3T Soccer Academy of Nairobi.

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