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Courage needed for World Cup campaign

10th June 2012
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After preparation and hiring of a new coach, the Taifa Stars have begun on their quest to qualify for the African Nations Cup next year and world cup in 2014.

Although undoubtedly the task is a daunting one, wananchi should draw encouragement from the example of Botswana who qualified for the Nations Cup this year, for the first time, against all the odds.

Having said this though, qualifying for such important championships as these will not be achieved through last-gasp preparations or mere talk alone.

Indeed, the Tanzanian Football Federation (TFF) and other football stakeholders need to give serious thought to how they can best help Taifa Stars to succeed in this weighty endeavour for our football.

It would be advantageous for our chances of success if the TFF lined up friendly matches against quality opposition, which would expose our strength and more importantly perhaps, our weaknesses.

TFF should also seriously consider meeting with clubs in the mainland premier league so that they can work out an agreement for the teams to release their players for regular training camps of the national team during the football season.

Granted, although the clubs might initially feel reluctant to do so, the TFF and the rest of the football fraternity should respectfully try to stress to them the importance of this issue to the nation.

It would be a monumental achievement if the country managed to qualify for the 2013 Nations Cup and world cup in 2014, as last time we featured at any major championship was way back in 1980 at the African Nations Cup.

However, while TFF will have their eyes firmly fixed on the achievement of these objectives, the local governing body should also not forget just how crucial the development of youth football is, to our future chances of football glory.

Towards this end, the setting up of more football academies around the country should be a top priority of the TFF.

Returning to our original theme though, there is no question that all Tanzanians will be fervently hoping that Taifa Stars can achieve what seems to the country like the most insurmountable of challenges.

Indeed, courage is required as this is no time for the faint-hearted.

Lloyd Elipokea is a sports

commentator

SOURCE: GUARDIAN ON SUNDAY
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