Dar es Salaam. The ministry for Information, Youth, Culture and Sports, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, will officiate at this year’s Standard Chartered Cup soccer tournament at the Gymkhana sports ground in Dar es Salaam tomorrow.
The British High Commissioner to Tanzania, Her Excellency Sarah Cooke, is scheduled to attend the launching ceremony.
The ‘knockout’ contest will feature 32 teams, and the winner will be awarded a ticket to feature in the Standard Chartered Cup tournament slated be held in Liverpool, Britain, later in September.
Commenting on the matter, the Dar es Salaam-based Standard Chartered Bank managing director (MD), Sanjay Rughani, said preparations for the tournament have been completed, and the 224 players from the 32 football clubs that will feature in the event are ready and anxious to get going.
The StanChart Bank MD said “we expect the event to be exciting – if only because most of the teamstrained for a month for the tournament – and we are proud to stage the event for the third year in a row.”
For his part, an English Premier League soccer maestro,the Finland-born Sami Hyypia,said he is “very happy to visit the country and attend the special occasion that is sponsored by the Standard Chartered Bank” – and that involved his former England club,Liverpool FC.
“I am very happy to be part of the tournament, and got the opportunity to witness talentedplayers from various local clubs. I hope it will be very competitive and exciting,”Hyypia said.
Hyypia also said that he believes there are great opportunities for young talented players from Tanzania and other African countries to feature in different premier league matches across Europe.
He said since the arrival of the Ghanaian striker Anthony ‘Tony’Yeboah in the English Premier League in January 1995 (Leeds United), there has been an increase of African players in various European leagues – and most have been doing well.
“Today, we have good players like the Egyptian Mohamed Salah and the Senegalese Sadio Mane who play for my former club Liverpool,: he said, noting that there indeed are more African players in other clubs.
“I will meet with officials of the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) through the Standard Chartered Bank to see how we can coordinate this for Tanzania’s players,”Hyppia revealed.
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