Stars` bumpy road to 2014 World Cup
Tanzania national soccer team, the Taifa Stars have a troubled route to win the 2014 World Cup to be hosted by Brazil for the second time in history since 1950.
The Tanzania team has been pushed to join group C that has formidable and regular campaigners Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco and Gambia.
However, the Stars group C inclusion is not automatic as the team need to knockout Chad in the prequalification tie to be played in November.
While eliminating Chad will not be an easy task, Stars’ progression into the finals berth might be another daunting task as well.
The World Cup draw conducted at the Rio de Janeiro’s Copa Cabana beach
under FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke came as a shock to most of the fans in Tanzania.
The World 2014 qualifiers looks to be the toughest ever for the country that has never managed to play in the finals since attaining independence 50 years ago.
Despite efforts by the Government and the football federation in the country, Stars are still handing in triple digit figures of the FIFA rankings to cast doubt of the team’s ability to sail through the qualifiers.
Should Stars manage to kick out Chad, then the team has to prepare for the group stage qualifiers that get underway
on June 1 next year up to September 10 2013.
Tanzania ranked 127 against Chad’s 158 looks to be an easy task but football is not always about rankings.
Only Mauritania that has been excluded in the race towards the 2014 World cup qualifiers out of the 53 FIFA members from the continent.
Top ten teams in the continent have been leading the seeding for the qualifier groups and these are South Africa, Tunisia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Cameroon and Senegal.
Africa has five slots in the World Cup which will be competed by 32 nations including hosts Brazil that have won the title for a record five times since its inauguration in 1930.
Despite huge efforts by the Government to lift the standard of the game through footing bills of the senior and youth national team coaches, still Stars are far from making impact at high profile competitive soccer.