Sports administrators and a wide range of experts are asking redundant questions and then scrambling to find answers, explaining why our senior national football teams, especially the Taifa Stars, are failing major tournaments early.
This type of pain is a self-inflicted injury because the problem doesn’t have much substance, it’s something that’s mapped out in the head, but is inconsequential.
Take the recent event where the Serengeti Girls reached the quarter-finals after winning, drawing and losing in the group stage of the final after ties between Japan, France and Canada respectively.
They were then eliminated by Colombia, who generally expect there to be great football, even among the women, as they have a high percentage of the black population.
In competing Western countries, their black sections of communities have more athletic talent than other groups, only one of these beats.
So Colombia could go through to the final after upsetting Tanzania in the quarter-finals and then maybe well into the final, in which case if there is a debate in Colombia like there is in Dar es Salaam , they would wonder why the same is not repeated for their national team.
We can be sure that there will be no such questions, but there will be questions as to why the United States team seemed to struggle, despite being a dominant team during the previous competitions.
But like in the senior World Cup finals, new teams appear and do well, like in CAF competitions.
This line of debate was not entirely surprising as it was even the butt of jokes in an earlier period when the team qualified for the World Cup final, and MPs sought to have a lot of faith.
Indeed, women’s football is a somewhat new field and when it comes to mobilizing young girls to play football, it cannot be said that girls have the same chances of participating in the sport, nor that the motivation is comparable.
It takes a lot of basic statistics to tell why Tanzania has excelled over the past decade in women’s football among East African countries, moreover, with each country being scrutinized for their factors in this area, for this sport.
Another area of debate was ‘Lupaso’s’ apparent preference for the official Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, also referred to as the BWM National Stadium, a nickname that proves more popular than the official name.
The problem is why officials seem to be confused by this alias, as it merely represents the birthplace of the late Third Phase President, and is in no way a parody regarding his memory or his image with that name.
One wonders if this isn’t a more appropriate designation, it refers to a place, “let’s meet there” rather than an installation.
The nickname started during the years when Simba SC reached the group stage, and in a way also the national team, for example when the Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa had already won 4-0 against the team of Msimbazi Street when meeting away.
It took a lot of trust and a kind of chemistry for the venue itself to be a big favor for the local champions.
That’s what they did more than most of us expected, claiming a 3-0 victory over the visitors, a morale boost but not enough to qualify for the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League, a few trusted this possibility.
‘Kwa Mkapa’ has taken on the image of a slaughterhouse for visiting teams in a tournament and it is this feeling that has driven Young Africans SC aka Yanga lately as they prepare to face Sudanese giants Al Hilal SC.
This image sort of goes back to what culture makers tend to espouse, the desire for a results formula, where the reason the home team wins is patriotism since the players are doing their best, the supporters are also out in force and all is well. Personal sentiment then equals cultural politics.
There is even a slight danger that if officials continue to insist on “Benjamin William Mkapa”, discouraging free expression on “Let’s go to Kwa Mkapa” or in short “Lupaso”, they could unwittingly succeed in eradicating the brilliance of these bonds, as they force fans to sing on a note they don’t want, interfering with wells of enthusiasm as the hangout becomes a totem that galvanizes energy.
It is undeniably inadvisable for authorities to try to put the media on the right track, because marketing is about tapping into feelings, not directing how feelings are constructed.
It sounds like the recent audible intervention that we need patriotism in continental competitions, that when a visiting team fights, say Yanga, Simba SC fans side with their next street rivals.
This type of instruction would ruin the rivalry and football earnings would drastically decrease, sending the best local teams to the preliminary rounds of the continental championships. It’s as simple as that and sensible.