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Stars must work hard to qualify

22nd January 2011

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Editorial cartoon

Hard work and determination are the basic means for the Tanzania national soccer team, Taifa Stars, should they seriously be in need of winning the 2012 African Nations Cup qualifiers.

At this stage of the race towards the finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, Stars have not won a single match out of the two they have played, salvaging just a point in a 1-1 lucky draw to Algeria.

Having lost at home to Morocco last September, the route towards the finals has drastically changed to become rough and tough.

Fans at home are perplexed on the performance of the team when they refer to what transpired in Cairo, where the inaugural Nile Basin championship ended with the team completely failing to sparkle.

Barely two months from now the same team that flopped terribly in Cairo, is supposed to host an emerging and probably surprise package in the group D qualifiers, Central African Republic.

The Cairo lackluster show heralds a bad news for the Taifa Stars and lucky enough it must be taken as wake up call ahead of the Nations Cup qualifiers.

Stars head coach Jan Poulsen who won widespread public accolades after leading the Mainland team to their third Challenge Cup title in the 37-year history of the championship, still has a lot to prove and meet fans’ long-awaited quest.

The biennial African Nations Cup championship is the continent’s premier soccer show that almost every country would like to feature.

Already three decades have elapsed since Tanzania made its maiden appearance and frequent failures have been dominant even with importation of well paid foreign coaches.

Poulsen must make a serious bid to mould an outfit that can deliver, taking into consideration massive moral and financial support at the team’s disposal.

We have actually failed in many occasions to cross over the qualifiers but this must come to an end so that we can regain our spot in the continent’s football map.

Most of our border neighbours with the exception of Burundi have frequently managed to win the qualifier berth, but Tanzanians remain to go back to the 1980 championships as their only remarkable reference.

The Tanzania Football Federation has to work and plan all sorts of viable plans good enough to end the 30-plus year old voodoo of failing to return into the Nations Cup championship fray.

With Government support that used to be rare in the past, TFF officials must feel ashamed of the endless failures.

With corporate sponsorship dangling at their fingertips, TFF officials must come out of shell to instigate soccer revolution at this stage.

For sure soccer fans at home are fed up with the recurrence habit of choosing other African national teams as their base to support during the championships.

We believe the Danish coach who took over from Brazilian Marcio Maximo in August last year, has already acclimatized with the football atmosphere prevailing in the country and now needs to work hard to deliver.

All the best Stars, don’t let us down again.

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