Taifa Stars lost all three group stage matches and the side were therefore unable to make it to the round of 16 of the tournamentAnitha Rwehumbiza, SBL's Acting Marketing Director, noted the squad nevertheless deserves credit for managing to qualify for the biggest African soccer tournament in nearly four decades.
Speaking at the luncheon, Anitha thanked Taifa Stars players and the coaching staff for making the dream come true for Tanzania to take part in Africa’s finest competition.
“To be able to qualify after so many years of failure is, in itself, a major step forward for our national team, at this stage, the players and everyone involved with team deserves credit,” she said.
She, on the one hand, disclosed that Stars' level of performance in matches was also of improved quality, despite poor results. On the other hand, Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) secretary general, Wilfred Kidao, thanked SBL for their support to the national team.
The TFF official said the firm's sponsorship is key to making the team succeed to not only qualify for AFCON 2019 but also perform well in the other competitions laying ahead.
The assignments are the upcoming African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers, a competition which is exclusively for players playing in their domestic leagues.
“We will meet with the technical bench and assess Stars’ participation in AFCON 2019, thereafter, we will come up with a strategy for CHAN qualifiers,” the TFF official added.
He pointed out that a major lesson had been learnt from Cairo.
Taifa Stars participated in this year’s AFCON tournament for the first time since they last managed to qualify for the same for about 39 years ago.
Stars were drawn in Group C of the continental showdown where they played against two of Africa soccer giants and favourites to win the competition, namely Senegal and Algeria, as well as a neighbouring Kenya.