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Africa Cup of Nations Qualification

Afcon 2021 Qualifiers: Tanzania must strive to reach each final – Samatta

2:09 AM EST 11/15/19
Mbwana Samatta - Tanzania
The Belgium-based striker stressed the importance of the national team getting a good start when they open their campaign

Tanzanian striker Mbwana Samatta has maintained the team’s target is to make sure they make regular appearances at the Africa Cup of Nations finals.

The Taifa Stars will launch their campaign for the 2021 finals to be held in Cameroon with a Group J home game against Equatorial Guinea on Friday.

Samatta, who plays for KRC Genk in Belgium's top flight, believes featuring in the competition on a regular basis will help the players to get used to the continent’s biggest football competition, and increase their chances of reaching the latter stages.

“At the moment, we will be wrong to suggest we have a team capable to lift Afcon title since we do play against teams which have invested a lot to win the championship,” Samatta is quoted by Daily News.

“We just need to make it a culture of playing in every Afcon finals and later start thinking of winning the trophy.”

Samatta reiterated their number one target is to win the match against Equatorial Guinea and start their journey to the Afcon finals on a high.

“We should all be one on [Friday] because the national team is for us all,” Samatta continued.

“I strongly believe if we managed to qualify for the same contest this year, we can do the same for 2021, but the most important thing is to begin the journey with the victory.”

On his part, the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) general secretary Wilfred Kidao revealed how they are trying to motivate players by paying their allowances for today’s match and the next clash against Libya beforehand.

“The [TFF] is very serious with the welfare of players that is why we ensure that the players have their dues paid before arriving at the battlefield," he noted.

After playing against Equatorial Guinea, the Taifa Stars will proceed to Tunisia to face Libya in their second encounter in the same group.