Tanzanian teams should rely on investment rather than motivation  

21May 2022
Nassir Nchimbi
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Tanzanian teams should rely on investment rather than motivation  

​​​​​​​MOROCCO's RS Berkane and Orlando Pirates of South Africa, which were beaten by Tanzania's Simba SC in this season's CAF Confederation Cup, were on Friday expected to face each other in the showpiece's final.

Simba SC fullback, Mohamed Hussein (C), dribbles past South Africa's Orlando Pirates players when the clubs locked horns in the 2021/22 CAF Confederation Cup quarterfinal's first leg which took place in Dar es Salaam on April 17. Simba SC won 1-0.

What does this mean? Some people claim that Simba SC has beat the best teams that have reached the continental showdown's final, so the former is as well the best.

Simba SC indeed is the best but one football match does not determine the comparison in quality between one team and the other.

The key is the continuity of quality. This season alone Simba SC lost to Mbeya City FC and Kagera Sugar within 10 days in Premier League. It does not make these teams stronger than Simba SC.

They are 90 minutes results but in local football, Simba SC is often compared to only one team, Yanga.

Azam FC is not in the two clubs' group. Simba SC can lose to either Azam FC or Polisi Tanzania but Simba's quality is beyond the two.

RS Berkane, despite facing many African football followers' criticism, had in the 2019/20 season won the CAF Confederation Cup's silverware.

A year earlier the Moroccan side reached the tournament's final against Egypt's Zamalek. What will surprise soccer fanatics is RS Berkane's qualification for this year's continental showdown final even if the squad was beaten by Simba SC at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium.

RS Berkane, however, has standards and it is not surprising the club has made it to the final, as it had made the feat its target.

Orlando Pirates had won the CAF Confederation Cup before and only recently played in the competition final.

I do not think that qualifying for the CAF Confederation Cup final is, for them, the strangest feat. There are standards set that are lacking in Tanzania's outfits.

Thankfully Simba SC has started to get used to playing in continental showpieces' group stage. For now, this is the side's standard. I look forward to them coming back next year and then doing the same again.

They can also go halfway and thus place themselves in the group stages and semi-finals. This is what is needed rather than judging performance by just one football match's results.

Today Simba SC's qualification for the continental showdown semi-finals will not be too surprising because the side has already played in the group stage successively.

If a soccer lover assesses carefully, even if Yanga will win the Premier League this season while playing good football Simba is ahead of the former. An individual ought to see how Yanga was easily eliminated by Nigeria's Rivers United in CAF Champions League's first preliminary round.

Yanga and Simba SC's biggest problem is having a huge gap between the outfits and other African top guns.

An individual should consider that the last time Simba reached the semi-finals of African club competitions was in 1974.

It is almost 50 years old now and it is the only team from Mainland Tanzania that has ever reached such a big stage.

Yanga reached a milestone in CAF Champions League in 1998 when the club reached the showdown's quarterfinals. It has never been back there.

People say if an individual holds money he or she can get used to it. If one works in a perfume shop he or she may find himself/herself smelling good all the time.

The smell of success in the continental tournaments did not sit well with Simba SC and Yanga.

Take a look at DR Congo football big guns, TP Mazembe. Two seasons back, the club had a less competent side but already this year it has made its way to Confederation Cup's semi-final.

The Congolese club has had a better stint in this showdown than Simba and Yanga. And I still believe TP Mazembe is not stronger than Simba.

It is as if local football enthusiasts will not be surprised that South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns will lift the CAF Champions League silverware next season despite crashing out of this season's showpiece quarterfinals with a loss to Angola's Petro Atletico.

An individual just knows that this year the South African club has slipped but the side's standard merits its progression to the semi-final, final, or lifting top honour, that is the way big teams go about.

Egypt's Al Ahly does not win the CAF Champions League title every season, but we all know that the club merits a place in the showdown semi-final and wins the top honour.

These are the standards that Tanzania's outfits have not set but they have started to either brag or measure their quality with statistics of beating teams that have gone to the finals. This is not right.

But then in terms of standards let us remind ourselves that there are club standards and country standards. RS Berkane is backed by Arab heritage.

Morocco's history in continental showdowns backs the outfit. The nation that has witnessed such sides like Waydad Athletics Club and Raja excel for so long will not be surprised if RS Berkane reaches the final. One just knows that Moroccans are good at using local players.

Simba SC's wins over RS Berkane and Orlando Pirates and then the former witnesses the two clubs make it to the tournament's final should not hurt Tanzania's football fanatics.

Our colleagues have set their standards for a long time and sometimes through the tricks of African football it becomes easy to get a one-match victory but, in general, it does not mean that an outfit's standard has improved.

At the end of the day, we have to remind ourselves if these finalists have criteria on and off the pitch.

Their investment is particularly high. These are the teams that sign players at the higher prices.

They have modern private stadiums for practice and matches, they do not hire modest coaches.

All of these are not done by Tanzania's outfits. To begin with, most foreign players plying their trade in Tanzania are the ones coming via free transfer.

Tanzania's outfits have never bought a player for 200, 000 US dollars so far. Well, Tanzania's squads can beat big teams in Dar es Salaam but, in general, the latter's standards are higher than the former's.

Local clubs rely more on motivation than investment, they have to reach the point that if Simba SC could not qualify for either of the continental competitions' quarterfinals then the whole of Africa ought to be shocked.

That is a good start to the growth of local football, in recent years many African countries have begun to believe in that context.

Yanga is the one that has the longest journey to return to the CAF club competitions.

If Yanga takes its chances this season and participates in the CAF Champions League next season, the club should remember that there are standards it has to set and develop almost every year as Simba SC did in recent years.

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