- Published on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 00:20
- Written by JAPHETH KAZENGA
- Hits: 391
TANZANIA Football Federation (TFF) has been advised to stick to the basic aim of the Copa Coca-Cola U-17 Championship so that the tournament's target could be realized.
Mwanza's coach, Musa Mtoro, said the decision by the body and the tournament's sponsors to focus much on improving the prize package for winners will all but frustrate the identification and promotion of budding soccer talents, which is the chief target.
TFF organizes the Copa Coca-Cola U-17 Championship annually through its Youth Football Organizing Committee under sponsorship from soft drink manufacturers, Coca-Cola.
The tournament specifically gears towards identifying and developing talents for national junior teams of different age categories, apart from effectively promoting the sport among domestic youth.
This year's Copa Coca-Cola Championship culminated on Sunday with Morogoro emerging champions after edging Mwanza 1-0 in a gripping final at the Karume Memorial Stadium in Dar es Salaam, in which both sides were making their maiden appearance in the final.
Champions, Morogoro, received 8m/-, runners-up Mwanza got 4.8m/- while Temeke, which came third after beating Tanga 2-0 in a play off held earlier the same day, walked away with 3.2m/- from the tournament sponsors.
And Mtoro feels the decision by sponsors to improve the cash prizes prompts participating teams into fielding overage players in the tournament with a view to performing well and winning the lucrative prizes, a situation that hinders effective identification and promotion of budding talents.
"I think the tournament sponsors should focus more on improving services in the tournament in future instead of increasing the prize package. We have been encountering many cases of age cheating in this tournament because of the approach, so, I think the improvement of services will help in curbing age cheating," he said.
"This tournament has been designed to spot and promote talents from grassroots level and that is what should be done. We should never veer away from the main target," insisted Mtoro.
Mtoro also praised the tournament organizers and sponsors for making this year's event a great success, saying successful organization of the event stands to inspire more kids into playing soccer and strive to achieve excellence in the game.
This year's tournament kicked off on March 25 at the regional level, involving various clubs prior to moving to the national level, in which regional combined sides from across the country battled it out for almost a month at various venues in the Coast Region and Dar es Salaam in search of winners.
Morogoro, coached by renowned former soccer players, Mecky Mexime and Ali Jangalu, had qualified for the final with a 3-1 win over Tanga in the semi-final and Mwanza powered to the final after defeating Temeke by the same margin in a nail biting semi-final played for 120 minutes.