Dar es Salaam fans cheer UEFA Champions League in style

They (fans) waited passionately for the kick off as they stood at the edge of a soccer verandah. Asked by ‘Daily News on Saturday’, who they think would win the Cup, one said "Real Madrid”, another chipped in "Chelsea!" and the third yelled "Barcelona!" After a lapse of some seconds, James Lawo, emerged to make his prediction "Bayern will win it!" Asked why he thinks Bayern would win, he confidently responded: "Because the team seems more aggressive this time."

Chelsea beat the defending champion 1-0 at Stamford Bridge in London on Wednesday night with its only shot on target as Didier Drogba’s goal in first-half stoppage time sent Barcelona to its only loss in 11 Champions League games this season. Like these fans, soccer fans across the country are turning their gaze towards the ongoing final hours of the UEFA Champions League with pride, because this time round, thousands saw the prestigious Cup in Dar es Salaam recently.

Braced for their customers' needs during the event, the shelves and display windows of Asiatic Sports shop are graced with T-shirts inscribed with the name of every club that is in the semi finals named by the fans in their prediction exercise. "Tanzanians need to celebrate the work that has been done, the energy that has gone towards making the UEFA a success," says Lawo.

HCP is screening the tournament on huge screens, treating fans to exciting moments gripped with emotions. Over 70 people comprising regular patrons and family members all gathered there on Wednesday late night to watch Barcelona and Chelsea. They crowded infront of large television screens to cheer, throw arms in the air and hug.

It was that kind of scene that has seen many Tanzanians filled with pride looking forward to their teams winning. The Champions League, created by UEFA in 1992, is regarded as the most prestigious club tournament in the World Football. Heineken has been associated with the tournament as an official sponsor since the 2005/06 season.

Today, it remains one of the principal sponsors of the tournament through to the 2014/15 season. The newly launched Heineken Champions Planet is an upscale mansion located in Oyster Bay that has undergone a makeover to include a wide living room, fitted with numerous screens, which is the main viewing area. In addition to the main viewing room, the venue comprises of gaming rooms with a PS3 deck, football tables, a pool table and a well equipped media centre.

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