Tanzania: Seven Arenas to Be Upgraded for Afcon Finals

THE government has pledged to upgrade seven stadiums with natural grass in order to meet criterias of hosting big international events and increase chances of staging the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.

Minister for Culture, Arts and Sports Mohamed Mchengerwa made the vow when he officiated the 2021/22 NBC-TFF Awards on Thursday night in Dar es Salaam saying the renovation works will begin soon.

He named the venues to be decorated with natural turfs as CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza, Mkwakwani Stadium in Tanga, Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma, Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium in Arusha, Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya and Amani Stadium in Zanzibar.

"These are the venues which the government will renovate to give them an international look and improve their pitches with natural grass so as to meet the requirements of hosting big football events of AFCON caliber.

"We are also going to make major improvements at Uhuru and Benjamin Mkapa Stadiums in Dar es Salaam to make them much better and all these are in line with the government agendas to ensure that all playing venues are in perfect status," he said.

The minister sounded tough on clubs which have existed for a long time but do not own their playing venues saying the development is disheartening calling them to do whatever necessary to construct their own stadiums and do away with relying on state owned ones.

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He also declared that a lot of investments are happening in the sports sector under the current administration of president Samia Suluhu Hassan saying people should expect many things.

Again, Mchengerwa hailed the Tanzania Premier League Board (TPLB) and TFF for awarding players in the women's league a gesture he said will contribute a lot to promote women football in the country.

"As government, we are honoured to see that women football is heading towards the right direction and the qualification of Serengeti Girls to play in the FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup is a testimony for that,

On his part, TFF president Wallance Karia predicted another great 2022/23 season saying all the shortcomings which surfaced last season will be amicably resolved to make it prosperous.

"When we were signing a sponsorship deal with NBC, I promised them that they will not regret coming aboard as main sponsors and I am certain that they believed what I said on the day.

"We also thank Azam Media Limited, Serengeti and other stakeholders whom we worked closely to ensure that our leagues ended well. Let me take this opportunity to acknowledge those who will be presented with various awards for great efforts they showcased throughout the marathon," said Karia.

Additionally, he lauded Young Africans for clinching NBC Premier League and Azam Sports Federation Cup (ASFC) titles as well as Simba and Coastal Union for finishing on second slot in the league and ASCF respectively.

Moreover, Karia assured teams which represent the country in international competitions that the federation will continue to rally behind them for the purpose of upholding their good performance when playing outside the nation.

Artmotion S.Africa

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