AS Tanzania readies to host U-17 Africa Cup of Nations to begin on April 14th to 28th, the country's representatives Serengeti Boys have received a timely boost of 1bn/- to be used for the team's preparation.
Speaking yesterday at the State House in Dar es Salaam, President John Magufuli said the money should strictly be used to drill the team further in order to win the title at the end of the campaign. "As you know, this year we have a big football event in the country involving the junior national football team, and we want the silverware to remain in the country that's why as government, we have seen it useful to support the team's preparation," Magufuli said.
He added that he has high hopes that Serengeti Boys will shine in the tournament and help to put Tanzania on the world map as far as the competition is concerned. Furthermore, the Head of State said time is now for the nation to speed up preparation for the upcoming event while insisting that the big number of visitors who are expected to come and witness the competition should be treated well.
"Not all people will come to watch football. Others are tourists and potential investors as such, let us get ready to host all of them nicely," President said.Adding, Magufuli has called for quick renovation of the National Stadium saying it is of bad shape and questioned on how the revenue collected from hosting competitive games at the venue is used.
He also said he cannot waitto see the junior team playing in the FIFA 2019 U-17 World Championship. It will be the second time for Serengeti Boys to compete in the contest whose first appearance was in 2017 in Gabon where they finished in group stages. The East African bloc will be represented by Tanzania and Uganda who are making their debut while West African region has inserted three teams which are Cameroon, Nigeria and Guinea.
The North and South African zones have Morocco and Angola respectively. For Nigeria, it will be their ninth appearance and have won the championship twice (2001 and 2007).
Defending champions Guinea eye to pocket the silverware three times having done so in 1995, 2015 and 2017. Serengeti Boys are in group A together with Nigeria, Uganda and Angola while group B contains Guinea, Cameroon, Morocco and Senegal.