The first leg match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers between Tanzania and Morocco national soccer teams will be played at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam this weekend.
The question is how much, given the “sideshows” it has been preoccupied with for quite some time now, the Tanzania Football Federation has done in ensuring the home side triumphs in this crucial tie.
Ever since the year started the federation has been obsessed with general election chaos that has left its leadership in a devastated mood.
We find it hard to understand whether the TFF leadership has made any significant efforts to make sure that the national team – Taifa Stars – wins the encounter to keep alive qualification hopes.
Morocco ranks among the sides featuring regularly in FIFA World Cup qualifiers, and we are sure to find it a team hard to beat.
Morocco, whose World Cup qualification credentials are thus well documented, knows what it takes to win the berth and will be in Dar es Salaam determine to grab the ticket to Brazil 2014 at our expense.
Though Morocco’s soccer has lately been in tatters, as it were, the team remains a force to be reckoned with in international games. As records show, Tanzania has never beaten Morocco whether in any encounter – whether a friendly or a championship one.
Therefore, Taifa Stars must take the upcoming match very seriously aware that they are pitted against one of the formidable sides in the African qualifier series.
Of the three teams in the group, which also includes Cote d’Ivoire and Gambia, Morocco has featured more often in the FIFA World Cup games than the rest – four appearances in total, having reached the Last 16 stage during the 1986 finals in Mexico.
What a team to meet this is, then, as it is such a big name in African soccer that we should not mistake for a group of tourists out to have a nice time in our country!
TFF must work especially diligently and intelligently to prepare our boys and keep bickering associated with a controversial election under the carpet for the time being.
Taifa Stars play for the nation and this should serve as an opportunity for us to shed the stigma of being perpetual pushovers in serious competitions such as the World Cup and the African Cup of Nations. After all, why should some countries grow while we remain stunted?
With the financial and other support the likes of Tanzania Breweries Limited have been extending to Taifa Stars, we hope TFF has sufficient resources to meet the team’s needs. And, in that we have what many believe is a superb coach, we see no reason for us not to overwhelm Morocco and advance.
Losing on home soil happens in soccer. However, a loss at this time when TFF is grappling with several daunting challenges would likely rub salt into the wound and is therefore better avoided.
And the only “wizardry” that will guarantee us victory now this time around and thereafter is plying better than our opponents. That is what we want Taifa Stars to do. And an entire nation is behind them. We wish them all the best.