By Amini Nyaungo
THE nine-time English Premier League champions- Everton Fc will play against the winners of the 2017 SportPesa Super Cup on July 13 in Dar-es-Salaam, but football fans in Tanzania say Everton FC is too big for the East African clubs, which they even failed to play against West African clubs.
Mugabe Migani, a football fan in Dar es Salaam says: “Everton is definitely, too big for Tanzania and East African clubs, but they have to take this as a golden chance. This will be a chance for our players to learn from world class players such as Lukaku.”
Another football fan, George Katyega said: “Apart from players learning techniques from Everton players but team leaders will also learn from how big clubs are managed. Unless otherwise the Everton tour in Tanzania and East Africa in general will be a great chance for development of our football.”
Everton CEO Robert Elstone and former Blues midfielder Leon Osman are in Tanzania to find out more about SportPesa’s growing presence in the area ahead of the Club’s pre-season friendly in the country.
The Everton duo are witnessing first-hand SportPesa’s key role in contributing towards football development in East Africa, and will also take part in a press conference with local and regional media to look ahead to the Blues’ fixture at the Tanzania National Main Stadium in Dar-es-Salaam.
The pre-season match in Tanzania will celebrate the Club’s new main partnership with gaming giant SportPesa and will see the Toffees become the first Premier League side to play in the East African nation, taking on the winners of the inaugural SportPesa Super Cup. The proceeds from the Super Cup tournament and from Everton’s fixture with the winners will be donated to the Tanzania Football Federation’s football development fund, providing programmes for the development of Under-15 and Under-17 teams.
SportPesa have recently expanded into Tanzania, with the community-focused company pledging to change communities in Africa by investing money into multiple grassroots and professional sports.
Mr Elstone said: “Pre-season is a critically important time for us as Ronald Koeman and his staff prepare the players for a big season ahead. Being the first Premier League team to come and play in Tanzania will be an exciting part of those preparations.
“We are breaking new ground and we have no doubt we’ll be making new friends and adding to our growing international fanbase when we visit in July. I know Ronald Koeman and his players are really looking forward to a good match against one of East Africa’s best club teams.”
Pavel Slavkov, CEO SportPesa Tanzania, added: “We are very excited to host Everton in Tanzania. Their visit will be beneficial, not only to the local football clubs who will get the chance to interact with the nine-time English League title winners, but also to the nation at large.
The SportPesa Cup is a two-country, eight-team tournament that will see four teams from Kenya’s top tier, the SportPesa Premier League, play-off against four sides from Ligu Kuu Bara, the top division of the Football Federation of Tanzania, for the right to take on Ronald Koeman's side.
SportPesa is offering complimentary match tickets to Everton supporters making the journey to Tanzania (travel not included). Fans wishing to register their interest can do so via the form below.