With a morale boost from the government, Tanzania national team, Taifa Stars left Thursday for Cameroon, beaming confidence to perform well in African Nations Championship (CHAN).
The government, through deputy Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Abdallah Ulega donated about 60m/- for players and technical bench as allowances and bonuses to motivate the players.
Deputy minister Ulega has promised to support more morally and financially to make sure that the country’s envoys triumph.
The donation was handed over to the team’s long serving captain, John Bocco before the departure.
The deputy minister said that the government is working to donate more funds wherever possible, calling for the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) to make proper use of the donated funds.
He has also called on Tanzanians to support the team since it represents the country in Africa’s second biggest national teams’ championship.
The team recently drew 1-1 with Democratic Republic of Congo a final warm up match held at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam as part of preparations.
Ayoub Lyanga’s equaliser in the second half helped Stars to level the score, cancelling Mayele Kalala’s opener in the 20th minute.
The game was also staged to bid farewell to the veteran defender, Aggrey Morris who announced a retirement from international football a week ago.
The 36 years old defender served Tanzania national team for more than a decade and now will move his attention to his long serving club, Azam FC.
Morris was given a guard of honour before the game and played for just two minutes before saying goodbye to the thousands of fans that watched the game in Dar es Salaam.
The Championship will commence tomorrow with hosts, Cameroon taking on Zimbabwe at 7pm evening before Mali playing Burkina Faso later in the same night. Libya will on Sunday play Niger at the same time while DR Congo will play Congo.
On Monday (January 18th), Morocco will confront Togo at the same time while Rwanda will meet Uganda later in the same day at night.
Stars, under head coach Etienne Ndayiragije, will play their first match on Tuesday against Zambia before Guinea playing Namibia.
Tanzania qualified to CHAN for the second time, after their maiden qualification in 2009 in Cote d’Ivoire. DR Congo remain the only team to win CHAN title twice, in 2009 and 2016.