EXCEPTIONALLY motivated and in high spirits following the renewal of the team’s sponsorship by multiple-award-winning beer brand, Serengeti Premium Lager, Tanzanian men’s national soccer team, Taifa Stars is raring to go as it prepares to travel to Cameroon this weekend for the finals of the African Nations Championships (CHAN).
Taifa Stars, which did Tanzanian soccer lovers and the sponsor proud by qualifying for CHAN last year, has pledged to further become a source of honor, distinction and pride at the championships, a promise that was buttressed by the Secretary- General of the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), Wilfred Kidau, who was quoted by the media affirming that the federation ‘will do its utmost to fully implement the technical crew’s programmes in order to help the team excel in the competition’.
And as a warm-up to the crucial tie, Taifa Stars hosted the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s national team on Tuesday this week in a ‘dry-run’ encounter that ended in a one-all draw. The match was intended to be the final spruce up for Etienne Ndayiragije (coach)’s squad as it jets to Yaoundé for what is billed as the second most revered soccer extravaganza in the continent after AFCON.
The national team qualified for CHAN finals after trouncing their perennial rivals, Kenya’s national team, Harambee Stars 4-1 in Nairobi after having settled for a goalless draw earlier in Dar es Salaam. In this 6th edition of biennial showbiz organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and which is exclusively for players who feature in their domestic leagues, Taifa Stars are pooled in group D, pitted against Zambia, Namibia and Guinea. The championships are slated to take place between 16th January and 7th February 2021.
Commenting on the CHAN finals, SBL’s Head of Beer, Anitha Msangi wished Taifa Stars success at the meet, exuding confidence that the national team will bring the prestigious trophy home, having been adequately equipped for the tournament by Serengeti Premium Lager. Last year, Serengeti Premium Lager renewed the sponsorship contract to the national team, bankrolling TFF with 3.0bn/-, to be used within the next three years.
Received by the soccer body, players and soccer lovers with excitement and gratitude, the renewal of the sponsorship came soon after the retirement of a similar previous three-year deal that was signed in 2017. TFF President, Wallace Karia lauded Serengeti Lager for renewing the sponsorship, pledging to ensure that the funds were used prudently for the sole purpose of ensuring that the national team achieved international soccer glory.
For his part, SBL’s Managing Director, Mark Ocitti reiterated that the sponsorship not only demonstrated the brewer’s love for sports, especially soccer, but also considered the significant role that sports play in the empowerment of youth and in the nation’s socio-economic development.
Coming hot on the heels of the national team’s qualification for the prestigious African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in 2019, Taifa Stars’ current participation in CHAN attests not only to the team’s new-found status as a regional soccer powerhouse, but also how consistent sponsorship and support by various stakeholders to the sports sector can help in catapulting the growth of sports in the country.
Similarly, the participation in international competitions means that players are able to gain international exposure and recognition, hence opportunities for greener pastures because today, sports is a major source of employment.
Moreover, the exposure too creates an opportunity for the country’s recognition abroad, thus creating potential prospects for sports and cultural tourism.