Stakeholder faults TFF for Afcon pullout

17Feb 2016
Our Reporter
The Guardian
Stakeholder faults TFF for Afcon pullout

AN adent of youth football in the country has blamed Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) decision’s to withdraw from competing at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) junior championship.

The 2017 Afcon Junior finals will be held in Zambia but TFF last week announced that Tanzania juniors will not compete at the championship.

The preliminary round games start in April with the second round in May. Finalists will be determined after third round in July.
Seven teams stad to qualify and join the hosts for the final countdown early next year.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) recently encouraged each country to participate in Under-17 qualifiers.
The final tournament of the U-17 Afcon will be held from April 2 to 16, 2017 in Madagascar, with Zambia hosting the U-20 Afcon from February 26 to 12 March 2017.

The top four finishers at the continental championship qualify to represent Africa at the respective Fifa World cups.
In an interview an ardent fun of youth football who also runs Tanzania Street Children Sports Academy (TSC) Mutani Yangwe, said the decision by TFF to withdraw from the Under 20 CAF championship is very bad to the development of soccer in the country.

He said in many serious football nations, the Under 20 team is the reliable conveyer belt of talent to the senior national team, but it is painful that here it is being ignored.

Yangwe said for any country to develop in football, youth development should be given the priority.

“It is always possible to produce good junior players. It is just about having the right structures in place, having the right support in place and making sure that there are a good number of local and international tournaments to give the players a chance to play the game, but what is happening in the country is very strange.

How can you develop our football without giving priority to youth football”? he wondered.

He said with such a development, Tanzania has shown that it is not a serious football national but rather a pretender.
“Typical football nations have thriving youth football competitions and teams at all levels, including the national team.

Football nations will always have their junior national teams participate at in regional and continental competitions every year, but that is not the case here”, he said.

He also urged TFF to make sure that all football clubs in the country have strong youth football teams so that they can be used to replenish the senior teams.

Habari Kubwa