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Tanzania government keen on sports development in the country

Wednesday February 17 2021
TANZANIA PIC

New national football team (Taifa Stars) head coach Kim Poulsen (right) converses with Kagera Sugar head coach Mecky Mexime at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday. Poulsen has replaced Burundian Etienne Ndayiragije after signing a three-year contract. Photo | Michael Matemanga

By MAJUTO OMARY

Dar es Salaam. The government says it is satisfied with the current sports development in the country, calling for more efforts in winning international honours.

The statement was issued yesterday by the Government Chief Spokesman, Hassan Abbas, during an exclusive interview conducted by The Citizen in Dar es Salaam.

Abbasi said Tanzania is now among the countries that are faring well in international competitions, although the national football team (Taifa Stars) are yet to win titles.

He explained that in 2019, Taifa Stars for the second time qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) held in Cairo, Egypt, despite the fact that they did not win the trophy.

“Before that, we failed to qualify for the Afcon finals for not less than 40 years. However, Taifa Stars made it for the Champions of African Nations (Chan) for the second time as the U-17 national team (Serengeti Boys) will next month feature in the Afcon finals for the third time in a row.

“Our U-20 football team, Ngorongoro Heroes, have made history after qualifying for the Afcon finals to be held in Mauritania. We are also giants in women football as our U-17 Twiga Stars have managed to win the Cosafa Cup in South Africa,” said Abbas. According to Abbas, in the field of professional boxing, boxers like Hassan Mwakinyo, Ibrahim Class and Twaha Kiduku are faring well to promote the country. “This is a milestone in sports development achieved by the Fifth Phase Government. “We need to be proud of the achievement despite the fact that in football we are yet to win a title. It is a step forward when compared to the past,” he said. He said in order to continue to achieve success in sports, the government has directed all sports associations and federations in the country to submit strategic plans of the national teams, which will be implemented together with the government for international competitions. “The national teams carry the national flag that belongs to the government and Tanzanians as well. It does not belong to any respective association or federation.

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“So, we will keep cooperating with sports bodies in preparing all the national teams because we want to do well and not otherwise,.

“So far, we know that from July, there will be the Olympic Games and we are happy that sports bodies have submitted their strategic plans, the national team for the Olympic Games is now under the government and the Tanzania Olympic Committee ” he said.

However, Abbas was irked by some associations that do not show any commitment to the development of sports in the country.

“There are some associations that do not hold meetings in all four years of their leadership tenure. Do you think such kind of associations will fight for the sports development? “We are not going to tolerate them. Good enough, most of the officials in our ministry are ‘young’ who focus on development, we want action and not mere words,” he insisted.

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