AFCON: Great lessons for Tanzania

IVORY COAST: FOOTBALL legends have observed that Tanzania has much to learn from the progressing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals, like how teams prepare.

The record-making football showdown is underway in Ivory Coast, where teams are battling for the African supremacy to be crowned on February 11th this year.

A lot is seen from the contest, with new records stamped and surprising results emerging day after day.

on Wednesday, the ‘Daily News’ talked to one of the decorated former players and experienced coach, Charles Boniface Mkwasa, who highlighted a number of issues that need to be learnt from the unfolding tournament.

“As a country, there are many things to learn; one of them is how the competing teams prepare for the competition…their performance speaks volumes.

“To do well in any competition, you need to have ample time to prepare, and this has been seen from a number of matches played so far in the competition,” Mkwasa said.

He also pointed out that contributions made by footballers who play outside their countries have been a fueling factor for many teams to do well, something he said should be encouraged.

“As a country, we should also create strong programmes to enable many of our players to cross boundaries and parade at high-profile leagues where exposure is great.

“Modern football requires a lot of exposure, when you go to play outside, you get an opportunity to learn new skills and above all, your overall performance and confidence improves,” Mkwasa remarked.

Furthermore, the ex-National Team ‘Taifa Stars’ Coach reiterated that infrastructure development is another issue worth learning at the tourney.

“We have seen that they (Ivory Coast) have many high-standard stadia that made them qualify to host such a big football competition on the continent. We should also learn from them how they managed to construct them and how well they keep them,” he said.

Similarly, the former Young Africans player, Bakari Malima cemented that teams that have many players who play football outside their respective countries have shown extraordinary performance.

“It does not matter what level of the league you play; once you cross borders, you become a different player as long as you have ambitions to achieve a lot and excel in your career,” Malima said.

Among the surprising results that have shocked the world at the progressing AFCON contest is the exit of Algeria in the group stage after suffering a 1-0 defeat from Mauritania.

This alone is a clear testimony of how African football has transformed on paper. Algeria looked superior but what transpired on the pitch left many people in awe, with Mauritania registering their first-ever AFCON triumph.

Also, Equatorial Guinea and Cape Verde have been incredible, no wonder they have finished their groups A and B assignments respectively on top, courtesy of seven points apiece.

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