Finally it is finished, and no member state of the Council of Eastern and Central African Football Associations (CECAFA) is likely to make it to the finals next year, despite that they are still doggedly seeking a place in the World Cup finals 2014, in Brazil.
With the current AFCON results that looks a little far flung as a dream, but soccer is often the best expression of 'never say die' until the last whistle, in which case no despair is likely to seep into the various federations or associations already. It is as brave face, but proper.
Locally, the pain of defeat has been lessened by the fact that the federation changed the coach virtually at the last minute, apparently not satisfied with Jan Poulsen's record up to the last three matches, with the Ivory Coast, the Gambia and Mozambique, On the basis of the fact the younger Poulsen had jus taken over, this experience was summed up to be part of team building – where as in the coming of Poulsen senior, there were players serving exile from the bench for disciplinary purposes. At that time it was Juma Kaseja and this time it was Mbwana Samatta who found himself recalled into the fold.
As the local federation president is also chairman of the sub-regional body, he found himself showered with a meritorious lack of achievement, namely that all the teams that he may apparently be vicariously responsible for their ins and outs found no way to penetrate defenses.
And there was indeed a point in this label as Tanzania hosts more sub-regional tourneys than other member countries, either because of our positioning or some other source of soccer enthusiasm, while however we aren’t that lucky with bagging the titles. It is more of a situation where Uganda and then others come and pick the title.
Still there has been a measure of difference in the past few years, as local leading clubs Simba SC and Young Africans SC have tended to lord it over other clubs in the region, for instance when Sofapaka were Kenyan champions and Yanga had seen off Simba in the club championship.
The Yanga fans were creative beyond measure, asking why there should be a problem taming the cat after having tamed the lion- and they indeed were right! Situations of the sort have been frequent, for instance Yanga getting penalized for skipping to defend its Tusker Cup title as it feared losing to Simba – which would spoil their newly won national premier league title!
In sum there has been areas of Tenga's success, despite that when his single team that made it to the last AFCON finals, Sudan, put to the field as title holder of the regional tournament, it collapsed in the face of onerously tough opposition.
It scarcely put up the sort of resistance that would be expected of the best team in the sub-region, but hardly any other side has been able to do better. Uganda and Kenya have a bitterly contested rivalry at national team level but neither has so far made a difference in continental soccer, while we in Tanzania have tended to be satisfied with regional club tourney exploits....