Tanzania's football fans should fully support their clubs 

22Sep 2021
Nassir Nchimbi
The Guardian
Tanzania's football fans should fully support their clubs 

​​​​​​​FANS in the world are divided into two types, the loyal fans and the bandwagons, it is really hard to know an individual's fanaticism, especially when a team is doing fantastic.

Mbeya City FC's attacker, Selemani Ibrahim (R), battles for possession with Ihefu FC's forward, Shaban Iddi, when the two teams met in the 2020/21 Mainland Premier League tie at Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya recently. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MBEYA CITY FC

If a team had absolutely no fans, the side would go out of business. Fans are that important.

Some fans have been known to bother the fans of the opponents or their favourite teams' rivals.

Also, some fans only care about their team and nothing else (including family, special services, etc.). That is not good.

It is good to have enthusiastic fans, but not fans who bother other people for what jersey, hat, T-shirt, etc. they have donned.

However, no one blames an individual or group of people in the world for identifying themselves as football followers.

A soccer fanatic is the one who knows everything about football. That is, he is more knowledgeable than any coach, player, or professional. We know ourselves and mind you it is very okay.

Even before the match starts, a football follower has played the match in his head and has his results in his pocket.

This is what happens in both our local league and in Europe. But here in Tanzania, there are still major weaknesses that do not match the status or grace we have in our football.

Fans are the most important part of the team because they are the reason why the players, staff, and coaches make money.

They give the players confidence, and whoever their favourite team is, they love that team.

There is a difference between loyal fans and bandwagon fans. Loyal fans rally behind their team during both good and bad seasons, support their club in the big games.

The enthusiasts always stay abreast of their teams' activities, following the sides by watching the squad's T.V, listening on the radio, being at the game, browsing the internet, having messages being sent to their phones, etc.

Some fans travel to see their teams play when they are away because they love that team.

Bandwagon fans are terrible fans because they only like the team that is doing well.

If a team is not doing well, they say they hate that team, or they are not going to support it.

Tanzanian fans do not know how to cheer or lit their players. They do not know how to support their teams when they are on the field be it in Simba and Yanga, Namungo FC, Mwadui FC even in the national team's fixtures.

In Tanzania, a fan becomes a friend of the player during the good days. In places like Rwanda, Uganda, or even Europe, let us take the example of Liverpool, Newcastle United, Real Madrid.

They have a variety of songs and great ways to lit it up and cheer the stadium and raise the spirits of their players.

Whether the team loses, is attacked, or leads all the time, the enthusiasts are behind their players cheering and even yelling at their opponents. As long as the players are excited and do not feel lonely.

But for Tanzania with the motivation we have, this does not exist. Fans do not know how to support their players on the field.

Fans just cheer for particular events, they sometimes just sit quietly on the stands as if nothing is going on.

I think there is a need for fans to change from now on and learn from other countries' fanatics, the best way to support players especially at this time when the leagues are about to start.

It is the fan's responsibility to be the 12th player, to play the game and get what he wants from the player rather than just blaming.

It is believed that if 60,000 fans rally behind Simba, Azam FC, or Biashara United at any of the continental competitions no visiting team will want to step on Benjamin Mkapa Stadium or even Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

Some fans' behaviour has sometimes given the opposing teams a chance for no apparent reason to win here.

Fans should look at the best way from now on to change and support their respective squads.

This will boost the morale of the players and they will feel more guilty than ever being blamed.

But also this is the time to support their clubs economically by buying jerseys, various equipment and going to the stadiums in large numbers to boost the clubs' economy and help them develop economically as the real situation of Tanzanian teams are known.

Everyone should re-evaluate themselves, the fans have a greater chance of entertaining the game than ending up heaping blame on squads.

Tanzanian fans should change and learn to not only understand the game but also report our players in trouble and pleasure.

The technical aspect of the outfits has to be left to the coaches and officials.

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