Tanzania: JPM's Reward to Sportsmen Ready

THE government has announced that the official handover ceremony of plots of land to Taifa Stars players and other decorated athletes will be fulfilled next week at Mtumba in Dodoma.

President John Magufuli awarded the players such prestigious award in recognition for their sparkling performance after defeating Uganda 3-0 to earn a slot of playing in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in Egypt.

But, commenting on the development after plots inspection recently was the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Hassan Abbasi who said all is ready for the presentation event.

"All the procedures which were involved to acquire this land have been completed and next week, the hand- over ceremony to players will be conducted. "As you can see, this is a good place which is located just few metres from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma main road and is also situated close to the government village as well as to the State House," Abbasi said.

Also considered in the offer were former Stars players defender Leodegar Tenga and striker Peter Tino who helped Tanzania qualify for the first time in Afcon in 1980 with the latter scoring a vital qualifying goal against Zambia.

Peter Tino scored the vital away goal that enabled Tanzania to eliminate Zambia 3-2 on aggregate.

Again, on the beneficiary list for the plots of land there is also Tanga-born pugilist Hassan Mwakinyo who also performed well in the professional boxing outside the country last year.

Simon Msuva, Erasto Nyoni and Aggrey Morris were the heroes of the nation on the day as their goals brought the much sought fortune.

Taifa Stars' skipper Mbwana Samatta inspired much the team's victory, his presence created confidence and fighting spirit to his teammates.

Captain Samatta, Simon Msuva, John Bocco, Erasto Nyoni, Agrey Morris, Gadiel Michael and goalkeeper Aishi Manula played brilliantly on the day.

Tanzania eventually picked up a ticket to the 32nd Total Africa Cup of Nations and were packed in group C but unfortunately, they completed the tournament at the base of their group.

Taifa Stars first played in AFCON finals in 1980 after eliminating Zambia on 3-2 aggregate win.

Nigerian coach Emanuel Amunike was the coach of Taifa Stars when the team qualified to AFCON finals in Egypt.

Now under Etienne Ndayiragije from Burundi, Taifa Stars have qualified to play in CHAN finals after eliminating Sudan. Taifa Stars have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup.

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