Here come Moroccans

Some of the Taifa Stars players join the “Cheer Stars to win“ campaign held in Dar es Salaam on Monday. (Photo: Omar Fungo)

Morocco national soccer team is expected to arrive tonight in Dar es Salaam, three days ahead of the 2012 African Nations Cup qualifier first leg tie to be staged at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Saturday.

The ‘Lions of the Atlas’, as the team is known, would jet in with a contingent comprising 55 people.

Fifteen of the expected arrivals would be journalists to cover the match for Moroccan media.

The tension packed encounter takes two teams that have never met before in continental soccer, let alone a friendly encounter.

The National Stadium is expected to be filled to full capacity courtesy of the reduced entry fees.

The highest has been set at 30,000 while the lowest is 5,000/-, according to reliable sources from the Tanzania Football Federation.

The entry fee has been deliberately slashed to become affordable for fans as TFF looks forward to massive cheering support.

The reduction on the entry fees has been made to fulfill the pledge by the TFF president Leodegar Tenga on Monday.

However, it was not unveiled when the tickets would be available for sale to spectators as the match fever has gripped most of the country’s soccer enthusiasts.

Tanzania football exports in the likes of Dan Mrwanda, Nizar Khalfan, Henry Joseph and Idrisa Rajab are reported to have arrived and joined their counterparts for training sessions in Dar es Salaam.

Stars have been under their newly employed Danish coach Jan Poulsen since mid last week to gear up for the Saturday clash.

Stars are intending to drop the underdogs tag after a series of misfiring in the past African Nations Cup qualifiers since their maiden appearance in 1980.

The Tanzania team banks heavily on home ground advantage to find a breakthrough into the Nations Cup berth with the next match as the most priceless of all.

Both Tanzania and Morocco have salvaged one point apiece from their first legs’ matches against Algeria and Central African Republic, played on September 3.

The Group D is so far wide open with all teams at par to boost qualifier chances.

Morocco’s early arrival heralds how determined are the North Africans who look to avoid early setbacks through qualifier upsets.

Morocco, the regular African Nations/ World Cup campaigners, have their football standard deep in the doldrums.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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