Dar es Salaam. The national soccer team players must be rubbing their hands with glee as the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) has announced a bonus scheme for them.
TFF has set aside $180,000 (Sh410.4 million) for players’ allowances ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals. Taifa Stars – as the national soccer team is popularly known – are now camping in Egypt for the Afcon finals, which kick off this Friday.
TFF secretary general Wilfred Kidao revealed yesterday that each player in the 23-man final squad named by coach, Emmanuel Amunike, and technical bench members will receive at least $5,000 (Sh11.4 million).
Further, they will be entitled to more bonuses for each game they win at the biannual sporting showpiece.
Part of the funds, according to Kidao, will be drawn from the $500,000 Tanzania received from the Confederation of African Football (Caf) following the national team’s qualification for the Afcon finals.
Kidao said that they spent $250,000 of the Caf funds on the team’s preparations for the finals and another $250,000 on youth football development projects.
This development comes two days after the government stepped up efforts to raise funds for the national team.
On Monday, the minister responsible for sports, Harrison Mwakyembe, launched a special fundraising drive for players’ bonuses.
Tanzania is among four Cecafa (Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations) teams that will compete in the finals scheduled for June 21 to July 19. Also on the list are Kenya, Uganda and Burundi.
It is the first time the four Cecafa teams are appearing in the competition at the same time since the inception of the Afcon in 1957.
The four will be looking to upset the big boys in the tournament, among them unprecedented seven-time champions Egypt, reigning champions Cameroon, who have won the title five times, four-time winners Ghana, and three-time champions Nigeria.
Tanzania and Kenya are in Group C alongside Senegal and Algeria.
And Tanzania could be Kenya’s Achilles heels in the group.
In their last eight games from 2016, Taifa Stars beat Kenya’s Harambee Stars two times, lost thrice and drew thrice.