Karia said the sponsorship had revitalized the team’s performance, making it register enviable feats.
The official pointed out the achievements include qualifying for the prestigious African Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals last year, after a 21-year hiatus.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Karia expressed his heartfelt gratitude to SBL, explaining that the beer-makers’ backing for the last three years had been a breath of fresh air that had relieved the federation of the previous financial burden that had dogged the body, derailing its efforts to reclaim the national team’s international soccer glory.
“Before the sponsorship by SBL, we had serious financial constraints that stalled most of our strategic plans. But with the sponsorship, our team and management had less stress and as a result the players and the technical bench were able to concentrate on their assignments, enabling us to achieve exemplary performance in most of our fixtures,” he said.
He added: “It was during this period that our national team managed to qualify for AFCON finals after two decades of being in the continental soccer ‘wilderness’, as well as qualifying for African Nations Championships (CHAN).”
Taifa Stars last year confounded friends and foes when, against all odds, qualified and participated in the 32nd edition of AFCON finals in Egypt, the prestigious biennial international men’s football championship organized by the Confederation of African Foot-ball (CAF).
Much as Taifa Stars achieved mixed fortunes in the encounter, the squad had, once again, put Tanzania on the continental soccer map.
In May 2017, SBL entered into a sponsorship deal with TFF, inking a three-year agreement in which the beer-makers, courtesy of the company's award-winning beer, Serengeti Premium Lager, pumped into the federation 2.1bn/-, thus becoming the official sponsors of the national team.
The SBL’s passion for the development of sports in the country was further heightened a year later (January 2019), when the brewers, through their new, Superbrands Award-winning brand, Serengeti Lite, signed another contract with TFF to support the Mainland Women Premier League.
The three-year sponsorship pact worth 450m/- has effectively made the beer-makers the first company ever to sponsor the women’s premier league.
The sponsorship has rejuvenated the women’s soccer teams across the country, eliciting more enthusiasm and excitement than ever before.
Commenting on the support, Serengeti Premium Lager brand manager Anitha Msangi said that the brewers applaud Taifa Stars for making Tanzanians proud and raising the hopes of all soccer lovers due to the team’s new-found spirited performance.
“As the sponsor of the team, we are very proud to note that our contribution to the team’s success has borne fruit, a fact that can be confirmed by the team’s winning trajectory during the sponsorship period,” she said.