BIG turnout at the National Stadium during competitive international matches is leaving behind a good legacy and it has impressed the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) said yesterday.
This was revealed yesterday by the federation’s General Secretary Wilfred Kidao at a press briefing aimed at creating hype ahead of the FIFA World Cup qualifying match between hosts Taifa Stars against Burundi at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam tomorrow.
The two teams go on the battlefield for the reverse match after the first leg encounter which was played in Burundi on Tuesday ended 1-1, the results which is positive to the country’s flag bearers.
A win or goalless draw by Stars will see them cruising into the group stages of the qualifiers with each group comprising of four teams. Kidao said on several occasions, he has been receiving congratulation remarks from CAF concerning big attendance of Tanzanians at the National Stadium, a thing he said should not be taken for granted.
“The whole world is watching Tanzania and acknowledging us that we love football. We should not be surprised that one day, the finals of CAF Champions League, which will start to be played on neutral ground, be staged here,” he said.
He added that so far, the federation has completed all the necessary preparations ahead of the match tomorrow, whose entrance charges have been pegged at 2000/- for ordinary seats, while VIP B and C will go for 5000/-.
“When it comes to the issue of national interest, our target is not to make money that is why we have lowered entry fees for many people to get a chance of supporting their team,” he said. He added that they have paid all due allowances and bonuses to players as one way to motivate them, while on the arena fighting for their country.
Kidao then urged fans to buy tickets early through Selcom, saying they (TFF) have already talked to the company to solve some problems which ticket buyers were experiencing.
About the standoff scene which occurred in Burundi, in which Stars players allegedly refused to go into the dressing room in protest of uncertainties there, Kidao, said they are still contacting their Burundian counterparts to know exactly what happened.
“Tanzania is a mirror of peace in Africa and the entire world… we do not expect our fans to repeat what happened in Bujumbura,” he said. On his part, Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL) Marketing Executive George Mango, whose company is Stars’ main sponsor, said they have put in place various promotions, which will see lucky winners earning tickets to watch the game. “We have no doubt that Taifa Stars will make it through because good preparations always lead to positive results.
Supporters should come in their big numbers and cheer them,” he said. Also, another contributor who represented Simba SC Said Tully insisted that if Stars succeeded to play in Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in Egypt, they can replicate that by reaching into the World Cup finals.
His counterpart who represented Young Africans Omary Kaya said what Stars learnt in AFCON feat should be directed towards overpowering Burundi tomorrow.