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Taifa Stars overcome tough challenge

20th November 2011
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The country is still basking in the success of Taifa Stars, who earlier this week overcame an unexpected difficult challenge from Chad in a pre-World Cup qualifier.

Granted, although we have never qualified for the prestigious football World Cup, the country heaved a collective sigh of relief at the good news.

However, this hard-earned win does not mean that we are assured of finally qualifying for football’s showpiece event.

Indeed, in a sense our job is only just beginning as we still have to navigate the treacherous waters of our World Cup qualifying group, where powerhouses such as Ivory Coast, Morocco and the emerging Gambia lie in wait.

In light of the uphill struggle we now face to grace the World Cup, all football stakeholders should be prepared to fully back the attempt of the Taifa Stars to book their ticket to the World Cup, albeit for the very first time.

As for the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), it is hoped that their efforts to develop youth football will intensify because in the coming years, our gifted youngsters could be blooded into Taifa Stars to strengthen our bid for World Cup glory.

Having said this though, it needs to be acknowledged that as far as youth football development is concerned, we seem to be moving in the right direction.

At this juncture, it is important to emphasize that our World Cup dreams will ultimately come a cropper without meticulous and diligent preparation.

Indeed, as inadequate preparation for major events has proven to be a damaging malaise in our sports, one hopes that TFF will exert every effort to prepare the national team for the weighty task at hand.

It would rank as our finest achievement if Taifa Stars succeeded in going to the World Cup in 2014 but a whole host of arduous challenges lie ahead for us to overcome.

Granted, although some around the continent may have already written off our chances, we owe it to ourselves to give it our best shot.

Lloyd Elipokea is a sports

commentator

nnyaka30@hotmail.com

SOURCE: GUARDIAN ON SUNDAY
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