AfricaPress-Tanzania: THE road to the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar has already been paved in Africa after Tanzania found placed in ten qualification groups that feature 40 countries. In a bid to boost the race for the Qatar finals, Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL) under Serengeti Premium Lager banner, has once again reaffirmed its commitment to support the Tanzanian national team, Taifa Stars.
The SBL pledge to support Taifa Stars comes despite the team failed to qualify for the African Cup of Nations finals after losing 1-0 to Equatorial Guinea at the Estadio de Malabo. Though Taifa Stars won 1-0 in their last match against Libya at Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, the win didn’t help them reach the desired goal.
In the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, Taifa Stars are pooled in group J along with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Benin and Madagascar. Sadly, Tanzania has never featured in the glorious global level tournament since its inception in 1930. World Cup is an event where the best players often showcase their worth in ball-dribbling skills, goal scoring and sterling performances.
Despite Taifa Stars World Cup woes, the team’s main sponsor SBL is still unswerving in its resolve to continue propping it up. Winners from each group will qualify for the final round preceding the journey to Qatar. In the final round, only five nations will savor an opportunity to compete in prestigious global soccer show slated to take place between November 21 and December 18, 2022, in the Middle Eastern state.
The Head of Serengeti Beer brand, Anitha Msangi, says of the support: “SBL will continue supporting the national team because we believe in possibilities. We are looking forward to the next World Cup qualification matches with a lot of optimism. It’s true that qualification for the World Cup is a challenging feat, but we have already seen before how hard-working our players can be if their participation in the AFCON (African Cup of Nations) tournament in 2019 in Egypt is anything to go by. This should give us comfort and encouragement that the team can achieve what appears unachievable by qualifying for 2022 World Cup”.
Tanzanians remember with pride when Taifa Stars qualified and competed at the AFCON in 2019 in Egypt after 38 years of unsuccessful attempts. SBL boasts a revered position as an ardent supporter of sports in the country, with football being the top sport where the brewer has uniquely stamped its footprint. SBL has bankrolled Taifa Stars since 2017, signing a three-year 2.1bn/-deal with Tanzania Football Federation (TFF)- and proceeding on with a landmark renewal of the contract in 2020, this time putting in a whopping 3bn/-. SBL gesture once again attested to the firm’s passion for the development of sports in the country and its keenness to contribute to the nation’s social-economic development.
Furthermore, it invigorated local football, a game held so dear by many across the country. Wallace Karia, the TFF President, once disclosed how SBL sponsorship ably served as a cog in the wheel of the national soccer body’s strategic plans. He was quoted as saying: “With the sponsorship, our team and management have had less strain. As a result, the players and the technical bench can concentrate on their assignments, enabling us to achieve exemplary performance in most of our fixtures.”
Another significant SBL commitment was made in 2018 when TFF received a sponsorship package worth 450m/- to fund the Tanzania Women’s Premier League (TWPL).
With this support, SBL effectively became the first ever company to sponsor the women football league. The deal accelerated the rise of hitherto unknown and modest women teams in the country, such as the former champions Mlandizi Queens and JKT Queens, among others-revitalising a league that was previously low-key due to years of lack of sponsorship.00