Taifa Stars vs Brazil: Expecting Brazil to change our soccer image is no different from Volkswagen manufacturers expecting higher sales because Mercedes Benz management is visiting their plant!
IT’S a big match! One of those very rare encounters by our players. One of those chances well qualified to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Taifa Stars are facing soccer giants from Brazil within 24 hours of another international match.
Excitement is high among almost all soccer-loving Tanzanian individuals, not because this is a world-cup game or an important qualifying match to a certain world or continental level championship, no! The craze is in “seeing Kaka live” as they put it. Unfortunately we tend to forget that whether we see Kaka live or through our liquid crystal displays, Taifa Stars will remain as live as it has always been with more losses than wins; and with more problems than solutions. This should have made TFF leaders think deeper before investing the amount that has been invested.
Shillings 3 billion has been spent in bringing Kaka and his fellow players to the land from South Africa. The hope of returns is in the ticket sales, which is estimated to be at over 2.5 billion/-, if all goes well, but certainly less than the capital. If this was a business, so far we are sure of one thing: it’s a loss!! But this is a soccer game. The hope is to market our players and put our nation’s soccer team out there for everybody to see. We want to place our team on a good world platform of soccer. We also believe in an indirect attraction to potential tourists!
I had a chance to listen to the TFF leader Leodegar Tenga, in an interview with the BBC, last week speaking about the game. I liked his speech and the passion with which Tenga looks at this game. To him, and most others, this game will elevate Tanzanian soccer on the world map of soccer. I would beg to differ on this. But make no mistake here, I said differ. I didn’t say unpatriotic....so, please judge me not for being different!! To me hoping that our soccer status will go up just by a one single game against Brazil is like thinking that just by bringing Maximo to coach our national team we’ll be up there on the top of world’s best soccer teams.
It’s no very different, in this case, for Volkswagen vehicle manufacturers to expect to raise their sales volume because Mercedes Benz management team is visiting their plant.
Last week’s talk told me one thing clearly. I’m so shocked with how easy it is for us Tanzanians to be put into excitement with false hopes. Today we’re all happy because first, it is Brazil in Tanzania; and second we seriously consider this as a profitable endeavour. I think this is wrong.
The only one thing that is right in the whole setting is that this is an expensive entertainment – seeing Brazil in our stadium. That’s as far as it goes – not anymore. So we do not have to falsely substantiate something that has little or no substance at all. Hoping to attract tourists through our soccer is an opinion highly debatable. May be the best thing we would do is seriously consider if this was really an affordable entertainment. Otherwise we could as well take this money to the ministry of natural resources and give them a goal to reach.
Otherwise, the problem of our soccer is in the roots, not in the leaves and not in the stem. Solving it would require much more than just hosting Brazil! So let’s go watch the game cheering up our team knowing exactly that we are only participating in an expensive entertainment – not unnecessarily raising our hopes high for anything better.