Spanish top-flight club Real Betis has announced the launch of an international academy in Harare, Zimbabwe.

The project is in partnership with local sports agency Athletes Sphere Management (ASM) and it’s the club’s first academy in Africa.

The Liga side said on their website that the project would start operating from October, if the coronavirus pandemic allows, with the aim of developing grassroots football on the region.

Betis’ General Director of Business commented on the initiative, saying: “Real Betis is one of the most historical football clubs in Spain and, without a doubt, one of the most beloved ones.

“Not only because of that historical character but also because of its idiosyncrasy and values, its unshakable faith, its ability to excel and the joy of its people.

“And those values ​​are precisely what we try to transfer in all our international projects: educating from football, transmitting all the values ​​that surround the Betis brand and doing it with the same methodology that we use within our youth teams.”

President and CEO of ASM, Gerald Sibanda says he is happy with the agreement and will help grow the club’s brand in the region.

“I am extremely happy for this global partnership, bringing world-class community opportunities to Zimbabwe,” he said.

“From ASM, we are looking forward to helping growing Real Betis Balompie’s brand in the region and seeing great football projects being birthed through this partnership. It is with great honour and I am so pleased to lead the new Betis Academy Zimbabwe. My blood is now green and white.”

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