PRESIDENT of the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), Jamil Malinzi has hailed the support from Tanzanians rendered towards the country’s Under-17, Serengeti Boys, which participated in Africa Youth Championship (AYC) in Gabon last month.
Malinzi said this yesterday in Dar es Salaam while addressing members of media on how the federation is implementing different football programmes in the country. “As TFF, we have seen it is important to come openly and thank everybody who supported Serengeti Boys both financially and materially.
Football now days can only improve where there is enough funds... without money, no successes can be achieved from it. “Currently, we are embarking on a serious programme to make sure that in few years to come, the country should have a very competitive national team, which will represent the nation in 2026 World Cup,” he said.
Malinzi added; “Africa will contribute six to nine teams for the largest competition in the world according to new rules set up by FIFA. This gives us hope that Tanzania will be amongst those countries from Africa to feature in 2026 World Cup.”
TFF boss added that Mali which has won this year’s AYC in Gabon managed to defeat all teams it played against but failed to overpower Serengeti Boys as the game ended in a goalless draw.
“This is a clear indication that the country’s youth team has a very promising future as far as football improvement is concerned,” he said.
Malinzi, said the country should turn focus on preparing the team for the 2019 Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers slated to kick off from June, next year.
Malinzi revealed that the current Serengeti Boys players will be graduated to Under- 20 side, Ngorongoro Heroes ready to represent the country in the U-20 qualifiers.
He said the technical bench was currently preparing the team’s programme, which will involve camp outside the country where they will also play a series of friendly matches.
Moreover, the TFF president applauded CAF president Ahmed for trusting Tanzania to host 2019 U-17 AYC finals, of which he appealed to Tanzanians to utilize this opportunity wisely in terms of advertising the nation globally.
“The next AFCON U-17 finals will be held in Tanzania in 2019,” he said adding; “the current Serengeti Boys are becoming Ngorongoro Heroes, after a break for a certain period, they will go into camp (to prepare for U-20 qualifiers,” he said.
He said after being officially handed the host rights for the 2019 Under-17 finals by CAF President Ah mad, TFF will soon embark on massive preparation by working hand in hand with the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports.
“Our target is to stage a historic and memorable event and will call on all football stakeholders to support us and make sure that 2019 AYC finals are nothing but a big success,” he said.
Malinzi further said at the moment, TFF management was in the process of adjusting some laws and regulations pertaining to the running of the Mainland Premier League.
If passed, then beginning next season, two teams at the top of the league table if they accumulate equal points, the first approach will be to decide on who won the previous encounter when the teams met (head to head meeting) before employing goal difference technique as used last season.
“Serengeti Boys was ousted in AYC after losing in head to head clash over Niger. We learnt something from it and would like to use the same approach in determining the winner of our leagues just in case if leading teams have equal points,” said him.
Furthermore, Malinzi praised Zambia U-20 national football team for being the only African team remaining in the ongoing U-20 FIFA World Cup in Korea. “Let us all rally behind Zambia as they try to make it big in the world football,” urged Malinzi.