Govt lauds Mengi for supporting Serengeti Boys    

19Apr 2019
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
Govt lauds Mengi for supporting Serengeti Boys    

THE government has expressed appreciation to IPP Media Chairman, Dr Reginald Mengi, for his continued support to the national U-17 football team, Serengeti Boys, and to the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports.

IPP Media Chairman, Dr Reginald Mengi.

Alongside Mengi, the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI)'s chairperson, Subbash Patel, has also been recognized for his contribution to the team.

Tabling the ministry's 2019/2020 budget estimates yesterday, the Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Harrison Mwakyembe, noted that the team's performance that made it secure a place in the 2019 AFCON U-17 Championship is greatly due to support from the two men.

"The team's participation in the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Games, to a great extent, was made possible due to Mengi's support," the minister said.

Mwakyembe added that the IPP Chairman, who is as well Serengeti Boys’ patron, has been so instrumental in ensuring the team performs well in the ongoing CAF tournament.

He said Patel gave the team 11,000 bottles of drinking water and juice as well as providing accommodation and offices to 27 officials of the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) at his five star hotel, Sea Cliff, during the ongoing CAF tournament.

The business tycoon, according the minister, also offered free accommodation to players and officials of three teams that are battling it out in the AFCON U-17 Championship at his other hotel, Whitesands.

"Failure to recognize such great contributions by great Tanzanians in my speech could clearly mean that demonic heart is slowly getting at me," the minister noted.

He mentioned others, who also contributed to the team, as Sahara Energy and Engen that contributed fuel for vehicles used for transport during the ongoing AFCON-U17 Championship. He also thanked local artiste Rayvanny, who performed at the opening of the tournament.

Tanzania has failed to qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup this year after losing 3-0 to Uganda in the group stage of the CAF U-17 Championship. Serengeti Boys had suffered a 5-4 loss to Nigeria in the opening match.

Following their second successive defeat, Serengeti Boys have failed to reach the FIFA U-17 World Cup finals, which will be played in Brazil. 

After losing 5-4 to Nigeria in a thrilling encounter in their first match on Sunday, Oscar Mirambo's boys needed to beat Uganda to remain in the running for a place in the semi-finals.

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