Zanzibar`s Information, Culture, Tourism and Sports minister Said Ally Mbarouk is set to grace the opening ceremony of the U17 national tournament (2012 Copa Coca-Cola) finals on Sunday at the Karume Memorial Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Addressing a press conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday where the Coca-Cola Company handed over sports kits for national tournament, the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) general secretary Angetile Osiah said that the Isles minister will receive a parade of 28 participating teams and will have the opportunity to watch the opening match where champions Kigoma will play Lindi.
He said that the national finals for the U17 tourney will kick over from June 24 to July 15 and that four grounds will be used during the preliminaries.
All the teams have already arrived in Dar es Salaam.
He mentioned the grounds which will be used as Tamco and Nyumbu in Kibaha, Coast region, Tanganyika Packers in Kawe and Karume Memorial Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
The TFF general secretary has called the public and other football stakeholders in the country to come out during the matches and witness the youngsters display their football skills.
Osiah also urged the Premier League clubs to use that opportunity to identify players to strength their teams.
He said that since the introduction of Copa Coca-Cola six years back, the tournament has been a major source of players for the Premier League clubs, U17, U20, and U23 national teams as well as the national team, Taifa Stars.
Osiah thanked Coca-Cola Company for its continued support in promoting Tanzanian football development and urged full support.
On his side, Allen Chikira, who represented the Coca-Cola Company, said that his firm will continue improving the tournament each year. This year, the company has constructed stands for soccer fans who will be coming to Karume grounds to witness the matches.