Dar es Salaam — Mainland Tanzania U-16 soccer team, Serengeti Boys, will start their campaign to win the inaugural African Youth Championships for the East and Central African Football Association (Cecafa Zone) against Burundi in the qualifying tournament.
The match has been scheduled to take place at the National Stadium on August 11. Before that Rwanda and Sudan will face off in Group A.
According to information from within Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), other teams in Group A are Sudan and Somalia.
Group B is made up of Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti.
The zonal tournament has been organised by the Confederation of African Football Football (CAF), the governing body, purposely to select one team that will join Tanzania in next year's African Youth Championships to be held in the country.
Serengeti Boys will feature in the tournament, which is supported by the European football governing body, UEFA.
The TFF source said that Mainland Tanzania, being the host, will use the tournament as part of training.
If they win top honours, the Runners Up will be handed the ticket.
The new system was established with the aim of ensuring the Cecafa Zone and others had equal representation at the finals, which are normally dominated by Southern, Western and Northern African countries.
"This is a very important tournament for Serengeti Boys ahead of next year's African Youth finals," added the anonymous source.
We will gauge the players' strength as well as talent in the tournament scheduled to take place at the National Stadium and Azam Complex," said the source.
Meanwhile, plans by Serengeti Boys to secure international friendly matches have failed and will now play against various U-20 teams within the country.
Earlier, the Serengeti Boys technical bench planned to play South Africa, Malawi and Zambia, but the plans did not come to fruition.
The technical bench also organised for the team to camp in Kagera Region in preparation for matches against Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, but the plan also failed.
"We will play against local U-20 teams based in the city. We are doing fine," reassured Mirambo.