Issues with Tanzanian football
Colonial legacy Tanzania is a British colony and this is one of the reasons why its football never developed. The British did not help their colonies developed football post independence. Except for Ghana and Nigeria, most English speaking countries in Africa have enjoyed very little success in football on a continental level. The French on the other hand invested in countries like Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal and also scouted these countries for talent who eventually where developed at French clubs.
Lack of Competition Tanzania has not got much in terms of regional competitions that serve as a recruitment vehicle.
Lack of Investment There has been very little investment in the game at Grassroots level. The Country still does not have any football academies in the regions and its league remains extremely underdeveloped.
Lack of scouting activity Tanzanian enjoys no scouting activity at all. If a talented player emerges from Tanzania, they most often end up in the local leagues and hardly ever make it to Europe. This hugely affects the national team who often lack the experience of teams with European players in their ranks. Comparative study – Cameroon
With a population of 16 million people, Cameroon is the most successful football nation in Africa.
Achievements: 1. Four times African Champions 2. One time winner of Afro Asian Cup 3. Gold Medal at 2000 Olympics 4. Quarter finals of World Cup 5. Produced six players who have won the prestigious African player of the year award 6. More than 100 players playing for European clubs
Cameroon’s success came as a result of efforts by the Cameroon Government in the 1980’s to build a constructive football development program. The Government engaged the private sector to fund development of the game at Grassroots level. Brewery companies sponsored soccer camps and paid for the construction of a football school of excellence. This created a system where the best players could be identified early and developed through age groups until they became full internationals and played for Cameroon at International level. Comparative study – Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast with a population which is half that of Tanzania are the continents current best team and have players at Europe’s top clubs including Chelsea, PSG, Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.
Achievements: 1. African Champions 1992 2. Qualified for 2006 World Cup 3. Produced crop of elite European-based players who have commanded significant transfer fee’s, including Didier Drogba (£24m), Abdul Kader Keïta (£12.5m), Didier Zokora (£8.6m), Arouna Koné (£8.3m), Yaya Touré (£6.7m)
Ivory Coast’s success is based on strong academy system that has been extremely prolific despite the countries Civil War. The academy system was set up French man by Jean Marc Guilou, a former French international, in 1994. Since the development of the academies, graduates have filtered through feeder club Beveren in Belgium before developing careers across the premier leagues of European football. The success of the current crop of graduates has promoted the Ivory Coast to the forefront of African football. Comparative study – Tanzania
Players between the ages of 6-13 in Africa are usually at the same level in terms of ability, they all have similar qualities in terms of physique, technique and passion for football.
What distinguishes the Tanzanian from the Cameroonian or Ivorian is what happens after the age of 13. Both Cameroon and the Ivory Coast have structures and processes in place to encourage the development of their elite talent and promote players to succeed at international level – providing promotion for each respective national team and the country as a whole.