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Stars must aim for long-term success

11th February 2013
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Editorial Cartoon

There is every need for Tanzania’s national soccer team, Taifa Stars, to have long-term projections and concentrate on winning high-profile competitive matches alongside international friendlies.

More focus should be directed at posting victories in competitive rather than the friendly matches so as to stamp greater authority on international soccer platforms.

The team’s recent win over visiting Cameroon in Dar es Salaam mid last week is much appreciated but the result will only be useful to boost their global FIFA rankings.

What we are striving for is not global ranking but rather participation at high-profile championships in the likes of African Nations and World Cup.

Beating Cameroon or even Brazil for that matter as long as the match is at the status of friendship would not help to raise the standard of our football or win silverwares.

It’s very enjoyable to win such matches but the fans’ strongest quest is to see their boys make an impact on continental and global platforms.

The short-term benefit the team relishes from win over teams in the likes of Cameroon and Zambia gives them only fleeting satisfaction.

There is no denying that Taifa Stars’ performance has been fluctuating, with consistency far from guaranteed.

The Tanzania Football Federation’s technical section should work out a plan that would transform the team to produce performance with a steady-flow of victories to meet the satisfaction of home fans.

It’s of no use to post a huge and impressive victory over trade-mark teams in ‘recreational’ matches while the same team is no where to be seen at a continental or global football map.

The TFF’s technical members should not be fazed by the heap of praises they do receive from the domestic media and then become complacent to lose grip on crucial qualifiers like the next month’s World Cup assignment against Morocco.

It has almost become a customary for Taifa Stars to post good results in friendlies and then the same team fails to deploy the heroics in crucial qualifiers.

Oscillating performance should be discouraged while the coach has to work on a formula that would transform the team into a formidable one and excel at international stages.

The just-ended African Nations Cup – in South Africa – has seen unheralded national teams in the likes of Cape Verde making their presence felt to smell semi-final stage despite their maiden appearance.

If a tiny nation like Cape Verde can make such breakthrough to shake experienced teams, why not us with a rich background of having appeared in the same championship when only eight teams were involved?

We must be serious in the promotion of our soccer and steer clear of politics that has always sabotaged whatever achievements we have made.

With the sponsorship galore from banks and brewers already up for grabs, there is no reason for us to continue having a weak national soccer team.

Whoever comes to succeed TTF President Leodegar Tenga after polls later this month must assume power aware that Taifa Stars need to cross over the qualifiers. Nothing short of that will be good enough for our people.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN