DAR ES SALAAM: AS Simba Queens continue to digest the historic feat of becoming the first team to put hands on the Women Community Shield title, the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) deserve a standing ovation for crafting the minitournament.
They have added sugar to the already palatable women’s football that the country is embracing and this will help to increase competition in the Women’s Premier League, as teams will be playing lungs out to finish in the top four to earn the privilege of being featured in the community shield competition.
Credit to the person who proposed the establishment of this tournament, because it has brought more excitement among football fans and it is now the responsibility of the federation to seek extra sponsors for the sake of making next year’s edition more colourful.
This is surely another indicator that the women’s football is making positive steps forward towards the right direction thanks to the creative minds nestling at TFF who saw it necessary to introduce this tournament.
From the massive attendance during the final match at Azam Complex in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, one can confidently judge that Tanzanians have wholeheartedly received the competition that unfolded for the first time. The venue was well attended by people from all walks of life, who went not because they had nothing to do, but rather due to the passion for football that they have and it is the same spirit that helped to shape the country’s football landscape.
Attracting teams that finished in the top four of last season’s Women’s Premier League which are JKT Queens, Simba Queens, Fountain Gate Princess and Yanga Princess was a guarantee that the min-tournament would be fascinating to watch.
The quadruple are the icons of the women’s football in the country, as they have seriously invested in their respective teams and have even crossed the borders in search of quality players to be included in their squads. It was not surprising that even the finale attracted the top two women’s teams that have vast experience in this game and each had the privilege to represent the nation at the CAF Women’s Champions League (CAF CL) finals.
Simba Queens were featured in the 2022 CAF CL finals that unfolded in Morocco and they finished on top four, a big achievement for them whereas JKT Queens competed in this year’s episode held in Ivory Coast but could not go past the group stage.
On the other side of the coin, it is a good start for Simba Queens coach Juma Mgunda who has been given the sword to take charge of the team hence winning the community shield silverware will give him confidence to achieve more in the country’s women’s football umbrella.
In terms of women’s football, without a doubt, Tanzania is far ahead of many other countries especially throughout East and Central Africa based on the way the envoys perform in major competitions. With the arrival of the Women’s Community Shield, it is another big gap that the nation has made since many countries only entertain Male Community Shield games and this is going to be a good lesson to them.
Yes, there is potential in women’s football because nowadays, football is a source of employment and players are getting attractive money enough to run their lives and support their families. The influx of many female players from outside the country who invade Tanzania to play football is a pure indicator that football pays hence a good moment for Tanzanian girls to wake up and engage in football for them to cross the boundaries shortly and earn more.
Some of the Tanzanian women footballers who play outside the country are Opah Clement who plays for Turkish side Besiktas, Diana Lucas plays at Morocco-based Ausfaz Assa Zag and Enekia Kasonga who is featured at Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Flames.
Also, the list has Aisha Masaka who trades at BK Hacken based in Sweden as such, there is a need to make this list big by deploying more women players outside the country for enhancement of their professional careers.
If you look at these players, you can see that playing football overseas has greatly sharpened their lives and are role models to thousands of young girls who want to be like them one day but, these things do not come easily, they need hard work, discipline and dedication.
To the side of the government, they have already created a conducive environment for all sporting disciplines to flourish meaning that it is the task of sportsmen and women to widen up their wings and fly high.
As the 2023 successful sporting chapter closes, the 2024 edition promises to be full of success as long as Tanzanians remain united and hold one’s hand for the sake of seeing meaningful achievements stamped throughout the upcoming year.