TFF optimistic on Stars coach

Tanzania Football Federation yesterday expressed its optimism on retaining Taifa Stars Brazilian coach Marcio Maximo at the end of his extended contract.

The federation`s secretary general, Fredrick Mwakalebela, said his body is fighting both ends against the middle to convince the coach for further extension.

Maximo, who took over Stars in 2006, had his contract running up to June last year when he opted for one year extension that ends in April.

“We are not expecting Maximo to give us his back as we strive to keep him with Taifa Stars basing on his performance to transform the team,“ said Mwakalebela.

The TFF secretary said Stars under Maximo have been a force to reckon with and the gravity of success can be widely observed.

He said it makes a big difference between Stars of today and the other one in the past.

He went on to say that the performance of Taifa Stars has impressed almost every soccer fan in the country to justify contractual extension for the coach.

Maximo`s lifeline to head Stars into the inaugural CHAN berth has set him free from further public and media criticism despite the team`s poor show in African Nations Cup qualifiers for 2008 in Ghana and Angola`s 2010.

The team also flopped beyond anticipation to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals to be held in South Africa.

Tanzania managed to win the African Nations Cup berth for the first and last time in 1980 when Nigeria played host to the continent`s premier soccer show.

Mwakalebela also said the close cooperation between the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and TFF has built confidence among corporate sponsors.

Maximo`s success has also been attributed to transparency and autonomy given to the coach with regard to the team, so says Mwakalebela.

“The coach is performing his duties without interference from neither TFF leaders nor the Government,“ said Mwakalebala, who was addressing media at the Mao Tse Tung Stadium yesterday.

Mwakalebala also said TFF is ready to foot the bill of the Brazilian coach wherever he needs to visit for talent scouting within the United Republic of Tanzania.

Stars are in Zanzibar for training sessions ahead of Wednesday`s friendly international against Zimbabwe to be played at the new National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

The match is a build up for the team while gearing up for CHAN championship set to kick off in Abidjan on February 22.

The team are expected to board Abidjan-bound flight on March 22 with a contingent of 29 people, including 23 players.

  • SOURCE: Guardian

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