President Kikwete hails Cote d`Ivoire

The Ivory Coast football team was in Tanzania at the beginning of the year playing against ‘Taifa Stars’. Football fan President Kikwete presented the team’s skipper Didier Drogba with a Taifa Stars coloured jersey bearing his name and expressed his sincere appreciation to the team for honouring the invitation to tour Tanzania and play two friendly internationals against the Stars and Rwanda.

The President, who hosted a luncheon for the three teams and the host side, said that the presence of the West African side in Dar es Salaam had given the Stars a level of international coverage they had probably never received before. He said the Cote d’Ivoire’s skipper Didier Drogba’s trademark glancing header that separated the two teams during the match was followed by huge publicity across the soccer fraternity worldwide. “Thank you very much for the tour; you have played a big role in elevating the standard of our own team” he said. Despite the slim win by the visitors, the host side had gained massive applause from the fans not only in Tanzania but also across the globe – Guardian .

President Kikwete holds the World Cup as it passes through Tanzania in late 2009

And a victory of sorts

Then on March 27, Taifa Stars won an international match in the lead up to next years African Nations Championship (CHAN) to be held in Sudan. They won by a score of 6 -0 to qualify for the next stage which will see them play against Rwanda. But in this football match the unhappy opposing team was from war-torn Somalia, who had already forfeited the return match being unable to host a second stage competition match because of the state of affairs at home.

Tanzania in the final

Beach football in Durban Credit: Wilf Whitty/Amost Trust

At the end of March the final of a ‘Deloitte Street Child Football World Cup’ was held at the Durban University of Technology in South Africa. Among the many sponsors were David Beckham, Gary Lineker and Theo Walcott (who supported Ukraine). The Tanzanian team in this seven-a-side competition did very well. It reached the final against India and was defeated by only one goal.
Thank you Peter Park for alerting us to this story – Editor.

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